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A motorist on the M25 at Swanley was clocked speeding at 149mph the highest speed recorded by a speed camera in England and Wales between April 2013 and May 2014.

The 149mph figure was revealed following freedom of information requests to 39 police authorities by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).

Eighty-five per cent of police authorities responded.

Other findings include:

  • The highest speed recorded on 30mph road was 96mph on the B1288, on Leam Lane, Gateshead
  • The highest speed recorded on a 50mph road was on the A414 Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire where a motorist clocked 119 mph
  • The highest speed recorded on a 60mph road was 127mph on the A413 Wendover By-Pass, Wendover.

The guidelines to magistrates on sentencing for speeding include:

  • 70mph road: For driving between 101 and 110mph. Fine plus six points or disqualified for 7-56 days
  • 50mph road:  For driving between 76 and 85mph. Fine plus six points or disqualified for 7-56 days
  • 30mph road:  For driving between 51 and 60mph. Fine plus six points or disqualified for 7-56 days.

IAM chief executive Simon best said: 149mph equates to nearly two and a half miles in a minute. If anything goes wrong at that speed, you’re unlikely to walk away and you are a grave danger to the innocent road users around you.

Speed limits are a limit. They are not a target to beat. Unfortunately, this message has not got through to many motorists and it’s clear that efforts to make speeding as socially unacceptable as drink driving continue to fail. That’s why we need sustained campaigning by the government, motor industry and charities to keep ramming home the message that excessive speed kills. Catching speeders at two or even three times the limit also shows the importance of keeping speed cameras at well-known black spots.

The current guidelines on sentencing for excessive speeding offences are out of sync with modern roads, modern vehicles and society’s view of the value of lives lost in crashes. We all share the roads with these speeding drivers and the government must crack down on them with more consistent penalties and tougher measures to break their addiction for speed.