120mph in a 20 - the UK’s worst speeding offences revealed

Speeding offences are rising across the UK, with one driver caught doing six times the limit last year.

Police data for 2019 has revealed that the number of recorded offences rose seven per cent year-on-year, with predictions that 2020 could see a further rise despite lockdown conditions.

A Freedom of Information request by insurance comparison site Confused, found that 2.5 million drivers were caught speeding in 2019, racking up at least £250m in fines. While most offenders were only marginally over the limits, data shows some were guilty of massively exceeding them.

The highest speed recorded by police was a driver in South Yorkshire who was clocked at 162mph in a 70mph zone. However, the Metropolitan Police reported one offender who was caught travelling at 120mph in a 20mph zone - six times the posted limit.

UK's worst speeding offences

Speed zone Fastest speed Police force
20mph 120mph Metropolitan Police
30mph 115mph Thames Valley Police
40mph 114mph Hertfordshire Police
50mph 145mph West Yorkshire Police
60mph 138mph Humberside Police
70mph 162mph South Yorkshire Police

Although the country’s roads are currently quieter due to lockdown restrictions, police forces have reported a significant rise in speeding, with more offences and higher speeds.

The Metropolitan Police reported one driver spotted doing more than 150mph on the M1 recently and has seen average speeds increase by up to 50 per cent on some roads. Greater Manchester Police has seen a 57 per cent rise in the number of speeding offences since lockdown began.

Fine confusion

The Confused research also found many drivers still unclear about just how much they can be fined if they are caught speeding. The standard fixed penalty notice is a £100 fine and six penalty points but motorists can be charged up to £2,500 and banned from driving.

And many are unaware that since 2017 they can be fined anywhere between 25 per cent and 175 per cent of their weekly salary depending on the severity of the offence. To help work out how much a speeding offence could cost you, Confused has created a fine calculator.

The study also found that more than a quarter of drivers were unsure about so-called buffer zones around the speed limit. Officially, there is no leeway around limits and you could be fine for doing 1mph over the limit but police chiefs have issued guidelines suggesting forces apply a 10 per cent plus 2mph threshold.

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, says: “At times like this, when there are fewer cars on the road, it might be tempting to take advantage. But our research shows nearly half of speed cameras are always switched on – so you’re less likely to get away with it than you might think.

“Ultimately, speed limits are in place for a reason – to keep road users and pedestrians safe.

“And with the way speeding fines are calculated, you might face far heftier fines than you realise, with the potential of paying up to 175 per cent of your weekly income. ”