Life in the fast lane

Motorists are living life in the fast lane – literally – as police data reveals that one driver was caught doing 161mph on a 60mph A-road.

The national speed limit on a single carriage A-road is 60mph.

But one motorist was found to be going 101mph above this on the A47 in Norfolk last year, according to police data.

Another motorist reached 141mph on the M6 in Warwickshire – more than double the UK 70mph motorway speed limit.

Five fastest speeding convictions

The fastest speeding convictions occurred mainly on A-roads last year, with many motorists driving well in excess of 100mph, the police data shows.




Police force

1 161mph A47 Norfolk Constabulary
2 141mph M6 Warwickshire Police
3 138mph A933 Tayside Police
4 137mph A31 Hampshire Constabulary
5 135mph A38 Staffordshire Police obtained data from 34 of the 52 police forces in England, Scotland and Wales, via a Freedom of Information request.

We asked each force how many speeding offences were committed in their area, the fastest speed recorded and on which road, in 2012.

Worrying attitude towards speeding

Alongside the data obtained from the police,’s own research highlights a worrying attitude towards speeding among many motorists.

Nearly two thirds – 63 per cent – of drivers polled by admitted to knowingly breaking the speed limit while driving.

However, while many motorists confess to speeding, only 24 per cent admit to having a conviction for the offence, highlighting a discrepancy in the number of speeders and those actually being caught.

Could speed cameras cause accidents?

And speed cameras may even worsen problems on the road, according to the drivers we polled.

A quarter of drivers said they had witnessed other motorists driving erratically around speed cameras and 18 per cent had seen an accident or a near-miss.

When approaching a speed camera, 37 per cent of drivers admit to looking at their speedometer instead of the road.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent of drivers said they only slow down to the speed limit when they are actually driving past a speed camera.

Drivers disregard speed limits

Gemma Stanbury, head of car insurance at, said: “Speed cameras have been put in place to prevent accidents and slow down drivers.

“However, from our research, it appears that these are not having the desired impact.

“It is also very worrying to see that so many drivers disregard the speed limits on UK roads.

“These speed restrictions have been put in place for a reason – to maintain a level of safety for both motorists and pedestrians alike.

“Yet according to police data some motorists are exceeding these limits by more than 100mph, posing a great risk to other road users.”

Stanbury added: “If drivers are caught speeding, they can face fines of up to £2,500 depending on the particular speeding conviction.”

Speeding most common motoring conviction

What’s more, a speeding conviction could increase your car insurance premium by around a third.

This is according to exclusive research by which looked at the top 10 motoring convictions and the impact on your car insurance premium.

Exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road (SP30) is the number one motoring conviction, with exceeding the speed limit on a motorway (SP50) the fourth most common motoring conviction.

This is based on customers who obtained a car insurance quote from between October and December 2012, with motoring convictions in the last five years prior to the date of the quote.

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