Speeding rise putting pressure on officers
Police resources are being “challenged” by a spike in reports of speeding on Perth and Kinross roads.
A total of 874 offences were recorded in the region between April 1 and June 30, 2021 – a 109 per cent increase from the same period last year. Drivers were caught doing speeds as high as 118mph.
The figures were revealed in the latest quarterly police report to Perth and Kinross Council’s housing and communities committee on Wednesday last week.
A total of 1483 speeding offences were detected across Tayside – with the majority taking place in Perth and Kinross.
Drivers were caught going as fast as 118mph, 112mph and 107mph in a 70 mph limit zone, with one racing on a 60mph road at 104 mph.
In his report Chief Superintendent Phil Davison said police resources were stretched as a result.
He said: “Police resources are being challenged by an increasing number of complaints received in relation to road users exceeding the speed limit.
“Police along with local authorities will conduct percentile speed checks to establish if there is indeed an issue.
“A vast number of these checks highlight the perception of speed is the issue rather than road users exceeding the speed limit.
“The perception of speed can also be attributed to modified vehicles which are significantly louder than a standard motor vehicle.
“Younger drivers are especially a challenge given their inexperience behind the wheel accompanied by peer pressure from their passengers.
“This has been compounded significantly due to the Covid pandemic which will lead to annual education programmes such as Safe Drive Stay Alive to be postponed. This was a lost opportunity to influence younger driver behaviour which may never be regained.”
Conservative Blairgowrie and Glens ward councillor Caroline Shiers praised the previous work done in programmes such as Safe Drive Stay Alive, which she said had a “huge impact on the young people who attend”.
Cllr Shiers asked what approaches were being explored to educate young drivers.
Chief Supt Davison said it was important as traffic road usage increases to accelerate the focus back on to enforcement and education.
Chief Inspector Graham Binnie echoed the importance of Safe Drive Stay Alive programme and said there was a recognition it worked and they needed to reinvigorate it.
Conservative Strathmore councillor Colin Stewart asked how the police enforced new road safety measures such as 20mph, 40mph buffer zones and school exclusion zones.
Chief Supt Davison said they responded very much in an intelligence-led way from community concerns as to where they set up speed detection
CI Graham Binnie said: “The prioritisation of where we do our speeding enforcement is often primarily based on where the highest risk of death and serious injuries are.”
He said the national position was that the police would not routinely enforce all 20mph zones due to the “sheer number” and look to other methods of prevention and engineering around the roads to try and prevent increased speeds where the 20mph limits are.
He added: “It is worth acknowledging that there are additional vulnerabilities around these 20mph zones and one you have highlighted is schools.
“We will look to enforcement activity around those .”