The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has released figures demonstrating the criminal recklessness of some drivers who ignore speed limits — including one caught at almost 100mph over the limit on an urban street.
The unnamed driver was clocked by a speed camera piloting a Porsche at 128mph on the A22 London Road in the West Sussex town of East Grinstead. The single carriageway road is in many places lined with houses and shops, and has a cycle lane for some of its length.
The IAM used Freedom of Information requests to ask police forces for the highest recorded incidences of speed caught on safety cameras in 2014, including locations, speed limits and top speed in each case.
The worst offenders were unsurprisingly on motorways: Kent police reported two instances of drivers being recorded at 146mph on the M25.
East Grinstead's Porsche driver wasn't the only instance of someone travelling at over four times the limit in a built-up area. London’s worst speeder was recorded at 123mph on a 30mph road by the Metropolitan Police.
In the Square Mile, City of London Police reported a driver travelling at 86mph on Upper Thames Street, recorded by the speed camera at Stew Lane.
Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “It is disheartening to say the least that some road users are showing such disregard for the safety of all other road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other drivers.
“At speeds of 140mph an individual is travelling at nearly two-and-a-half miles a minute. At that speed it is simply impossible to react to anything that might happen in front of you.
“It is also impossible to handle corners, gradients, street furniture and junctions with any effectiveness. In short, all these individuals are playing with their own lives and others – they are all accidents waiting to happen and it requires a major shift in the attitudes of these people to think about safety.”
The IAM supports the use of safety camera systems at collision hot spots, on roads with a speed related crash record and at areas of proven risk, such as motorway road works.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.