Britain's best & worst areas for speeding drivers revealed

Wealthier postcodes have more speeding convictions according to insurance data

by Mark Appleton   September 13, 2010  

speed cam.png

For cyclists it will make bleak reading. New research shows that more than 10% of UK motorists have a speeding conviction and identifies the British postcode areas with the highest percentages of speeding-convicted drivers.

Car insurance provider, Admiral looked at statistics from the last five years and found that motorists living in parts of Hertfordshire, Dorset and Surrey are the most likely to have accrued points on their licence for speeding.

Over a quarter (26%) of drivers in Radlett, Hertfordshire have a conviction for the offence, the highest percentage in Britain. This figure is in stark contrast to the 5.5% of drivers living in St Ives, Cornwall who have been caught displaying lead-footed tendencies.

As well as Radlett, other areas with high percentages include Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset with 24%, Leatherhead in Surrey with 23% and Westbourne in Bournemouth, Dorset also with 23%. These all compare to a national average of 14%.

Along with St Ives, other areas with low percentages – or cold spots – include Small Heath in Birmingham, Wemyss Bay in Inverclyde and Cottingham in East Yorkshire.

While drawing firm conclusions from the statistics is not an exact science given the number of variables at play, there does appear to be a strong correlation between wealthy areas and concentrations of speeding motorists. Poole in Dorset is, according to Forbes.com, the second most expensive place in the UK outside London in which to buy a property. The Sandbanks and Lilliput areas of the town are second and seventh on Admiral’s speeding hot spots chart, while the stockbroker belt around London features high on both Admiral's hot spot and Forbes' property price lists.

Admiral managing director, Sue Longthorn, said, “"To see areas where so many drivers break the speed limit could be a worry for other more vulnerable road users such as cyclists. It's important that people are aware that speed limits aren't simply a guide and realise the impact their speeding could have on cyclists, who don't have the safety of airbags and seat belts on their bikes."

As reported previously on Road.cc, some countries, including Finland and Switzerland fine speeding motorists according to their income, hence the penalty of almost £200,000 handed out to a speeding Swiss millionaire earlier this year. Admiral's research suggests that a means-tested fine system is worth considering here.

Speeding hotspots and coldspots by percentage of drivers convicted in last five years:
 

Hotspots                                                                  

1st Radlett, Hertfordshire 25.7%                           
2nd Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset 24.2%                 
3rd Leatherhead, Surrey 23.1%                             
4th Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset 22.9%   
5th Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire 22.1%                 
6th Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire 21.9%        
7th Lilliput, Poole, Dorset 21.2%                          
8th Bushey, Hertfordshire 21.1%                          
9th Salisbury, Wiltshire 20.3%                               
10th Worcester, Worcestershire 20.3%               

Cold spots

1st St Ives, Cornwall 5.5%
2nd Small Heath, Birmingham 5.8%
3rd Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde 6.0%
4th Cottingham, East Yorkshire 6.1%
5th Possilpark, Glasgow 6.2%
6th Pickering, East Yorkshire 6.2%
7th Greenock, Inverclyde 6.3%
8th Tottenham, London 6.4%
9th Easterhouse, Glasgow 6.4%
10th Camborne, Cornwall 6.5%
 

 

8 user comments

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The more money a driver has the greater the sense of entitlement they seem to possess. Clearly they feel they are very important people, going to very important places, to do very important things and as such are perfectly entitled to 'press on' whilst thinking "Out of my way little people, I'm a captain of industry!" like some parody of a manager off the IT Crowd.

Watching driver behaviour in and around Horsham in Sussex, just down the A24 from Leatherhead, would seem to bear this out.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [293 posts]
13th September 2010 - 13:24

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It would be interesting to see those stats broken down by make and model of vehicle… bet there'd be a fair few Merc drivers in there. When I used to commute from East London they were always the ones you had to watch out for… out here in the west it's long wheelbase 4x4s

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4111 posts]
13th September 2010 - 14:22

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Although it's tempting to think that wealthier drivers see themselves as being above the law, could it be that enforcement is better in those areas?

posted by MikeF [6 posts]
13th September 2010 - 14:53

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It would also be interesting to see exactly where the offences are taking place and whether the convictions are due to 'safety' cameras or real policing.

One of the things you need to fine someone for speeding is a link between the VRN and a registered owner/driver.

Considering the reported levels of people driving vehicles not correctly registered in some parts of the country would this also have a bearing on the figures.

What is it with Radlett though? Is it the proximity of the M1, M25, M10 and A1?

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [526 posts]
13th September 2010 - 16:15

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I'm wondering if a lot of those places that figure in the cold spot list have both speed cameras, lots of cctv, and pretty dense traffic - that might account for East Ham and Tottenham

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4111 posts]
13th September 2010 - 16:57

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You'd think lesser car ownership in poor areas would impact this.. it's hard to get a speeding ticket when you have to take the bus to get around.

posted by Niall [33 posts]
14th September 2010 - 12:33

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No mention of the number of drivers in those postcodes so you can get a better idea of how bad the problem is in those areas.
Statistics without knowing what the dataset is like are meaningless

posted by adeclay (not verified) [21 posts]
14th September 2010 - 19:25

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In Switzerland they also make drivers with repeat speeding convictions undergo psychological tests to ensure they are mentally fit to hold a driving licence - now how would that go down with the Merc and Range Rover Sports fraternity?

ChrisS

posted by Chris S [41 posts]
15th September 2010 - 16:03

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