Vehicle caught speeding 12 times in five months over the Orwell Bridge

Average speed cameras on the A14 by the Orwell Bridge.

Average speed cameras on the A14 by the Orwell Bridge.

A single vehicle has been caught speeding 12 times by the new average speed cameras on the Orwell Bridge since they came into operation in July.

A total of 340 vehicles have been caught speeding more than once since the new 60mph speed limit was introduced in July.

The figures are contained in a Freedom of Information request response from Suffolk police relating to the number of vehicles caught speeding between the Wherstead and Nacton junctions on the A14 – the stretch of road covered by the 60mph limit.

The police were asked how many vehicles had been caught speeding more than once over the bridge – a total of 340 – and they also said one vehicle had been caught speeding 12 times.

For a first offence those caught speeding can be offered a speed awareness course to prevent them from having three points put on their licence. Any further speeding offences will result in a fixed penalty ticket – including the points – or a court appearance.

Anyone with 12 points on their licence faces a driving ban after a court appearance – a driver caught speeding 12 times in five months would in theory end up with 36 points on their licence and would be left facing a lengthy ban from the roads.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore pressed for the speed limit on the bridge in a bid to reduce the number of accidents there – an aim that appears to have succeeded.

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There has also been a reduction in the number of speeders caught since they were first installed.

He welcomed the news that the number of speeding motorists had fallen: “It does look as if the message is getting across.

“But I am shocked by the number of vehicles that have been caught more than once. We obviously don’t know if they have all been driven by the same driver on each occasion – but it stands to reason that many have been the same driver.

“And the fact that one vehicle has been caught speeding 12 times beggars belief. Again we can’t be certain it was the same person – but it defies logic that the vehicle had 12 different drivers on each occasion.”

Mr Passmore urged courts to take a tough line with repeat offenders: “I would like to see people given very substantial bans if they continue to ignore speed limits. Speed limits are there for a purpose – to improve safety and prevent accidents.

“If someone ignores them time after time then I don’t think courts should be lenient, they should be taken off the road for a long time.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “The numbers caught speeding are still relatively high however it is encouraging that this figure continues to reduce month on month. Clearly, however, there are some that are being repeatedly caught exceeding the limit.

“In these cases formal procedures will be followed but if someone repeatedly offends then they will be dealt with in due course through the courts.

“The limit is there for safety reasons – to try to reduce the number of collisions and reduce those killed or injured on our roads.”