PCC's Concern for High Speeds in Bedfordshire


  • Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, is urging motorists to continue to support the ‘No Need to Speed’ campaign, after data from 2019 revealed drivers’ speeds exceeding the legal limit by over three times.

  • The highest recorded speed outside of London in a 20mph zone, which is usually reserved only for areas close to schools, was in Bedfordshire at 73mph. In 2019, the highest recorded speed in the county was 134mph in a 60mph zone, over double the speed limit.

    “The problem with speeding like this is that it’s too late to have regrets if you end the life of a child and cause lasting devastation for a family if speeding at over 70 mph near a school. At 134mph in a 60mph zone the road conditions will mean this could never be safe or it wouldn’t have this limit. This isn’t just reckless, its criminal and if causing a death through such complete disregard for the safety of others you may be on your way to prison irrespective of whether you’ve ever been in trouble with the law before.

    I use money from speeding, raised through our Cameras, Tickets and Collisions unit, to provide campaigns for young drivers that last year meant a £30,000 investment. 

    “However, there’s no evidence that this only relates to young, inexperienced drivers and frankly, to be travelling at 134mph, you’re more likely to be in a saloon car working through your mid-life crisis. It’s pretty pathetic really,” said Commissioner Holloway. 

    The national road safety charity, Brake, reports that excess speed contributes to over 75,000 crashes and around 1,500 deaths every year nationally. The ‘No Need to Speed’ campaign run by the charity details the impact speed has on the severity of a crash and subsequent injury of someone involved, for example, if a child is hit at 27mph, the impact is equivalent to falling from a third-floor building, compared to at 18mph, where the impact is equivalent to falling from a first-floor storey.

    Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake, said: “It’s simple, speed is a factor in every single road crash. It’s vital that drivers understand the importance of always keeping below speed limits and driving to the conditions of the road. That’s why, this Road Safety Week, we are reminding everyone that there is no need to speed and asking that they carry that message with them whenever they are on the road.”

    Since the beginning of 2020, Bedfordshire Police has attended 2,207 vehicle collisions on the county’s roads. Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has attended 386 road traffic incidents over the past 12 months and continues to raise awareness around road safety in the county.

    Chief Fire Officer, Paul Fuller, said: “We want to maintain the benefits of Road Safety Week 2020. We have a number of rural roads in Bedfordshire, which can be hazardous at this time of year due to the change in weather conditions and the early dark nights. We have produced a short film highlighting a stretch of the A507, which is a particularly dangerous piece of road.¹

    The film points out the key hazards that drivers should be aware of when using this piece of road.

    The Commissioner said, “I would urge you to be aware of the roads that you drive on and of those that you share these roads with. Always drive at a safe speed for the road conditions and never exceed speed limits! They are there for a reason and that is to keep road users safe and save lives. Help us to keep our roads safe this winter.”

    The Commissioner continues to support the valuable work of the Speed Watch Scheme, which has now been running for 10 years. There are over 70 Speed Watch groups working across the county, with 546 volunteers helping the police to record vehicle speeds and raise awareness around the consequences of exceeding the legal limit.