Over 50% of worst Scots speeders escape prosecution

No action was taken against 11 of the 20 highest. Picture: John Devlin

No action was taken against 11 of the 20 highest. Picture: John Devlin

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More than half of the worst speeders caught by cameras in Scotland last year escaped prosecution, The Scotsman has learned.

Eleven of the highest 20 speeding offences resulted in no action being taken against the driver, Police Scotland has revealed.

Extreme speeders escaping justice will shock most people

Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation

These included a car being clocked at 127mph on the A9 near Pitlochry, and another at 125mph on the A74(M) near Beattock.

Also escaping fines and a potential driving ban was a motorist doing 122mph on the A90 near Stonehaven.

Police Scotland said that problems with identifying number plates and officers being unable to prosecute foreign-registered vehicles were the main hurdles to bringing drivers to justice.

These included missing or obscured registration plates, or bad weather hampering cameras getting clear images.

Those drivers who escaped prosecution were snapped by a combination of fixed and mobile speed cameras at speeds of 112mph or above.

The figures, obtained under freedom of information laws, compare to nine of the 20 worst speeders escaping prosecution in the 15 months leading up to last June.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), which has previously highlighted the problem of Scotland’s worst speeders, said more effort must be made to catch them.

Neil Greig, its Scotland-based policy and research director, said: “The IAM is very concerned that so many excessive speeders still appear to be getting away with such dangerous behaviour.

“Any perception that anyone can get away with speeding undermines confidence in the 
system.

“The lack of joined-up enforcement across Europe is being addressed, but not until 2017 at the earliest.

“This is a delay which will allow many more to ignore the law and continue to endanger others.”

The RAC Foundation said law-abiding drivers would be shocked by the figures.

Steve Gooding, its new director, said: “Responsible motorists would want to see such flagrant and dangerous behaviour not only recorded but result in 
prosecution.

“That half of the most extreme speeders are escaping justice will shock most people.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “The most common reason out of these cases for no further action being taken was down to the legibility of number plates.

“A camera operator filming a vehicle may in practice have only a short time opportunity to get a clear view of the number plate, and this is always subject to traffic and road conditions such as spray and rain.

“The other reasons in these cases were being unable to establish the identity of the driver, either because they were foreign drivers or not being able to trace the individual concerned within the limited legislative time 
period.

“The issue of identifying foreign drivers and vehicles is a matter of ongoing international relations and agreements.”

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