Met reduced ‘speed tolerance’ threshold in 2019

The Met Police says posted limits “are the maximum speed that road users should travel at any time”, on the back of reports suggesting it quietly reduced its ‘speed tolerance’ threshold back in 2019.

The threshold is the small amount of leeway a motorist receives for travelling over the speed limit before a camera activates and they are penalised.

First reported by the Sunday Times in September, it is claimed the Met reduced its threshold by 1mph back in 2019 – to 10% plus 2mph.

This change was not directly announced, the report claims.

In real terms, the new threshold means motorists travelling on a 30mph road now face action for being caught speeding at 36mph.

Under the previous threshold – 10% plus 3mph – they would have escaped punishment at this speed.

Responding to the reports, the Met says motorists should obey official speed limits, irrespective of the threshold the force uses to decide whether to take action.  

The police force said: “Posted speed limits are the maximum speed that road users should travel at any time… irrespective of the speed threshold that police commence enforcement action.”

According to National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) guidelines, all UK motorists should be given some level of leeway on our roads. However, it is reported that there are discussions to review this policy in the years ahead.

5 October 2022

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