The UK government is yet to announce a speed reading scheme to curb speeding.
The move has been welcomed by some speed reading advocates, who fear the scheme will be a costly and time-consuming exercise that will further divide society.
The Government is also set to consider introducing a new tax on motorist speeding, with the first measure set to come into effect in 2018.
In a recent parliamentary question, Minister of State for Transport Richard Harrington said speed reading would be introduced in a “comprehensive” way.
“The speed reading is a tool which has a number of important applications, and one of the important applications is preventing people from committing dangerous and illegal speed,” he said.
“It has also been used to deter speeding and speeding offences, and in some cases deter people from speeding offences.”
The Government will work closely with the motor industry to develop speed reading measures that are effective and enforceable.
“However, the Government is yet “to announce a timetable for implementation”, despite calls from a number speed reading advocacy groups for a scheme.”
Speed reading has been an effective tool to prevent speeding and to deter dangerous and unsafe driving, and it has also had a role to play in reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries,” said the Campaign for Real Traffic Safety’s James Lough, who is campaigning for speed reading to be introduced.”
But the Government should take a cautious approach to speed reading and focus on the wider problem of road safety and road use.
“We know that speed is not the only factor driving people to drive at speeds above the speed limit, so the Government needs to consider ways to reduce road fatalities and injuries, particularly to those people who are most at risk of being killed or seriously injured.”
Speed reading advocates are hoping to see a speed limit increase to 60km/h (37mph) in the near future, with a proposed speed limit of 70km/hour (39mph).
“A 70kmh limit on the road would mean that every driver would need to slow down to 70km per hour, but a 20mph limit on motorways would mean everyone would need a 20kmh speed limit,” said a spokesperson for the Campaign, who did not want to be named.
“The government should not be focusing on speeding, and should instead focus on reducing deaths and serious injury from road traffic accidents and road users.”
The Campaign also said the Government’s road safety strategy should also include “a strong focus on making streets safer for people to walk, cycle and drive”.
A spokesperson for Transport Minister Simon Burns said he had “not made a decision” on speed reading, but did not rule it out.
A road safety campaign group has said it is considering a legal challenge to speed-reading laws.
The Road Safety Campaign said in a statement: “A recent parliamentary report shows that a 60kmh (39 mph) speed limit would reduce fatalities and seriously injured road users from 80 to 50 per cent.
A 70kmhz limit would mean the majority of road users would need only a 20hz speed limit to drive safely.”
A new law would need legal approval, and would be required to be approved by Parliament.
A speed reading measure would need approval by both Houses of Parliament, and to be backed by a full public consultation process.””
However, we believe a speed-read law will not achieve the level of public safety required by the public.
Therefore, we are considering legal action.””
The speed-reader law is not designed to address road safety issues,” the Road Safety Council’s head of policy James Whiteley said.
But Whiteley added: “The Speed Reading Act is not perfect and there is always room for improvement.
We would welcome any advice from the Government.
“The Government has also proposed a ban on speed cameras in England and Wales.
The proposed ban will apply to all motorways and all major roadways in England.