Police launch review of speeding 'buffer zone'

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An official review into the speeding 'buffer zone' has been launched by police, Metro.co.uk reports.

Current rules states that the enforcement of speed limits must be "proportionate" and take into account how clear speed signs are, what the road "feels like", and the accuracy of speed cameras.

At the moment, drivers are protected by the buffer zone, which adds an allowance of 10% of the speed limit plus 2mph to the legal limit before they are punished. The aim is to avoid drivers being fined or receiving points on their licence if they are driving slightly too fast. However, there are concerns that this leads drivers to think "it is OK to speed".

A report by Chief Constable Anthony Bangham states: "The existing speed enforcement guidance (in particular the now publicly stated 10% plus 2mph allowance) could in fact be encouraging driving at these more dangerous higher speeds rather than the actual speed limits.

"If properly understood and applied, the guidance may provide forces with the necessary flexibility but over time its rigid application and understanding are often misunderstood, with an expectation that the 'norm' is 'it is OK to speed'."

It has been speculated that abolishing the buffer zone could see drivers being punished for going even 1mph over the limit.

A spokesman for the National Police Chief's Council told the Metro.co.uk that: "Current speed enforcement guidelines for police set in 2011 are being reviewed, looking at available evidence. The findings of the review will be considered by all chief constables before any action is taken.

"There is no proposal for drivers to be prosecuted for driving 1mph over the speed limit – that would be neither proportionate or achievable."

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