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MP: Don’t fine for 31mph in a 30 zone

Sir Greg Knight says getting too strict on drivers will turn the public against the police.
Sir Greg Knight says getting too strict on drivers will turn the public against the police.

Pocklington’s MP has said ideas to fine drivers who are just 1mph over the speed limit would damage the police’s reputation in the eyes of the public.

Sir Greg Knight MP was reacting to West Mercia Police Chief Constable Anthony Bangham’s comments urging an end to the 10% “buffer” currently used.

He also suggested speeding awareness courses were being used too widely instead of penalty points and fines.

But Sir Greg, who is a classic car enthusiast and chair of the Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group said: “I see no need to change the current practice of generally allowing a tolerance of about 10% when considering whether to prosecute a speeding motorist.

“In many cases the police rely on the goodwill of the public to help solve crimes. I can think of nothing more likely to damage that goodwill than an overly aggressive policy towards motorists.

“It will make criminals of motorists who are basically good drivers trying to obey the speed limit, while keeping an eye on the road. It is a pity he is not expressing the same enthusiasm for cracking down on violent crime and yobbish behaviour where the public would welcome a zero tolerance approach.

“Motorists should adhere to the speed limit but we do not want to see any motorist being less attentive to the road conditions ahead because their eyes are glued to the speedometer.”

Driving organisations have said stricter enforcement would make motorists ‘paranoid’ and forever checking the speedometer to see if they are 1mph above or below the limit.