Speed kills

Even a small increase can make a big difference.

Icon Grid

  • Minimum £100 fine

  • Minimum three points

  • Potential ban

  • Serious injuries and death

Going too fast wrecks lives

Every year in Scotland there are too many fatal accidents caused by speeding. Driving fast can impact innocent road users and affect people’s lives forever.

It’s up to all of us to take responsibility and slow down on our roads.

What you need to know

  • We all make excuses for speeding, but the risks can’t be justified
  • It’s easier than you think to get caught
  • Penalties are tough for a reason
  • You could lose your licence and even your vehicle
  • There are things you can do to help you slow down

Why do people speed?

It’s all too easy to think that there’s a legitimate reason for going over the speed limit. When lives are at risk, there can never be an excuse.
Here are some reasons people use to try and justify their actions.

  • Running late for an appointment
  • Looking for quick thrills on what’s thought to be a quiet road
  • Driving on a local road that’s very familiar
  • Distorted thinking because of alcohol or drugs
  • Not sure of the speed limit on a particular road
  • Not familiar with a vehicle’s performance
  • Anger or road rage – especially after being tailgated
  • Distracted or just keeping up with the traffic flow

How you could be caught speeding

There are a few different ways to keep a check on vehicle speeds – and to enforce the law where it’s needed. These include:

  • Police roadside speed checks with a laser gun
  • Roadside Safety Cameras
  • Roadside Safety Cameras in vans or on motorbikes
  • Average Speed Cameras
  • Police following behind a speeding vehicle

How you’ll find out

There are set procedures in place, depending on how you’re caught speeding.

By any Safety Camera

A notice of intended prosecution (a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty Notice) will be sent to the registered keeper within 14 days


This will be dealt with at the roadside with a Fixed Penalty Notice

The penalties you’ll face

  • The minimum penalty for speeding is £100 and three points
  • New drivers who get six points within two years of passing their test will have their licence revoked
  • Very high speed offences can lead to a court appearance, higher fines and a driving ban
  • Speeding that causes serious injury or death can result in more severe penalties

Effects that can last a long time

Speeding is more likely to cause serious or fatal injuries to other road users. Going too fast can affect innocent people’s lives forever. There are also some consequences that will affect you. You could:

  • Lose your licence, or even your vehicle
  • Potentially lose your job, or business, if you can’t drive
  • Face a huge increase in vehicle insurance

Knowing the speed limits

The speed limit is 30 miles an hour (48km/h) for all single and dual carriageways with street lights – unless there are signs showing otherwise.

Please remember that speed limits are not a target. Driving at a lower speed than the limit may be a better option, depending on the situation.

Other things worth bearing in mind:

  • Speed limits vary for different vehicles
  • Different roads have different speed limits

Ways to stop going too fast

It’s always better to arrive late, than not at all. The risks from speeding are so serious, that it’s never worth it just to make up a little time.
Here are some simple tips to help make sure that you don’t need to speed.

  • Leave plenty of time for your journey
  • Use cruise control to stay under the speed limit
  • Other technology can also help i.e. Sat-Nav warnings, Intelligent Speed Assistance
  • Check your speed regularly – it’s easy to end up going faster than you think
  • Know the speed limit for your vehicle and for the road you’re on
  • If it’s safe, you can drive slightly under the limit
  • Always try to stay relaxed when you’re driving
Back to top