39000 motorists caught speeding in 2015
17th June 2016
Nearly 39,000 drivers were caught speeding in Cumbria last year.
Exclusive figures obtained by The Cumberland News show that 38,627 motorists flouted the law and broke the speed limit in 2015.
Police say the figures are "disappointing, while speed campaigners calling for motorists to slow down describe them as "absolutely atrocious.
Inspector Jo Fawcett told The Cumberland News: "It is disappointing to see such high figures, as this means there are people who continue to risk the lives of road users across the county.
"Cumbria Constabulary conducts regular road safety operations on the countys roads as well as using traffic camera vans and conduct community speed watch initiatives.
"Those who are offered speed awareness courses receive education on the dangers of speeding and often will leave a much safer driver.
"Driving at excess speed is extremely dangerous and can lead to tragic consequences.
She continued: "Speed limits are there for a reason and motorists must abide by these for the safety of themselves and other road users.
"A motorist that is driving at excess speed is not in control of their vehicle.
"Those who receive fixed penalty notices need to take on board this warning, as next time their erratic driving could lead to fatal consequences for themselves or other road users.
Nearly 21,200 of those caught speeding in Cumbria attended a speed awareness course. This is offered to offenders who meet strict criteria relating to the speed at which they were caught and with previous speeding convictions.
If they choose to go on a course, motorists avoid a fine and penalty points but instead pay to attend the half-day course.
It is also offered to motorists who are banned from driving, to allow them to reduce the length of their ban.
Denise Pattinson from the speed awareness campaign group West Side Stories in Silloth, said the figures were "absolutely atrocious.
She said: "I drive for a living and I am appalled at the way people behave on the roads.
"The speed limit is there for a reason for safety but a lot of the time people don???t even notice and just drive.
"I fully support the campaign for Twenty is Plenty in built-up areas.
"I live on The Crofts housing estate and I would say about 40 per cent of the residents are under 15. There are no play facilities and it is dangerous for them to play out because of the cars as people have no perception of speed.
Mrs Pattinson said she would like to get a speed gun to see how fast people drive.
Earlier this year her group met Workington MP Sue Hayman to discuss concerns about speeding drivers in Silloth.
Last weeks motoring session at the magistrates court in Carlisle saw 37 motorists prosecuted for speeding offences. Of those, 10 were on the M6, with the remainder all on A and B roads. The A69 at Warwick Bridge had four offenders, while the A685 at Brough Sowerby saw five.
The number of speeding motorists has remained static for the last two years. The highest speed ever recorded by a speed camera in Cumbria was 123mph in 2013.