132mph – but fewer drivers are caught breaking the limit

A LAW-BREAKING driver was caught travelling at an eye-watering 132mph last year, but despite this fewer motorists were caught speeding on county roads.

Despite new figures showing 2,400 fewer drivers were caught speeding in Northamptonshire in 2011 compared to 2010, a leading driving instructor believes more drivers are taking risks on county roads after fixed speed cameras were switched off last year.

In 2011, there were 25,920 drivers caught speeding compared to 28,402 in 2010, and the driver caught at 132mph was the eighth highest speed recorded by police nationwide.

Andrew Love, secretary of the Kettering Driving Instructors’ Association, said: “It’s irresponsible. You can’t control a vehicle at that speed and they should be thinking about the other drivers.

“Imagine what the families of crash victims go through.

“It doesn’t surprise me, I drive on motorways late at night and people drive fast because they think they can get away with it.

“More people are taking risks because they know they won’t get caught.

“If you drive at 35mph down at a 30mph zone and get away with it, you’ll do it again until something goes wrong.”

The county’s top recorded speeder in 2010 was caught travelling at 110mph. The figures, obtained by insurance firm LV after it submitted Freedom of Information requests to all police forces in the UK, are for speeding on public roads.

Michelle Poole, 26, of Kettering, has worked with charity Roadpeace after her brother died after a motorbike accident in 2009.

She said: “That’s a lot, to be caught going at 132mph.

“On some country roads, especially Burton Latimer, people fly past you and that is why accidents happen.

“It’s good to see that less drivers are being caught, because the amount of people going the correct speed helps with bringing down the number of road deaths.

“But you can read statistics in different ways. Perhaps the reason fewer people were caught is because the police have fewer resources.”

The county’s speed cameras were turned off in April last year, but police stepped up their mobile patrols.

Supt Sean Bell, from Northamptonshire Police, said: “Tackling speeding remains a priority for the force as part of the Fatal Four campaign which also looks at the use of mobile phones when driving, drink and drug driving, and seatbelt use.”

Thirty-six forces responded to LV’s request, and in those areas the company found that there were 955,459 incidents of speeding in 2011 – up from 899,934 in 2010.