Scotland plans 1mph speed tolerance

Scotland introduces 1mph speeding tlerance

Scotland is one of the greatest countries in the world to ride a motorcycle, but that is expected to change from March when the country introduces a 1mph speed tolerance.

Scotland will then join Australia in an flawed “nanny state” clampdown on accidental speeders for the sins of the few high-speed offenders.

Several states in Australia have reduced their speed tolerances in the past few years which only serves to punish low-speed offenders and turn us into a nation of distracted speedo gazers.


Meanwhile many other nations throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia are more concerned about keeping traffic flowing and patrolling for dangerous high-speed offenders.

Scotland’s geography is dominated by highlands, craggy coastline and a massive lakes district which results in some of the world’s most winding roads through staggeringly beautiful scenery.Scotland

It is surely one of the most attractive countries in the world for the avid motorcyclist; so long as the weather is good!

Currently, the country has a 10% speed tolerance plus 2mph to account for the inherent errors in speedos and to ensure motorists that the system was about being fair, not just revenue raising.


Speedo scotland
However, the Scottish Government has allowed police to axe the tolerance down to as little as 1mph from March.

First-offence motorists will receive a warning letter and on the second occasion, a £100 fine and three demerit points.

That might seem like a fair system, however motorists who are frequently on the roads are simply more likely to inadvertently speed and end up paying the cost – and possibly losing their licence.

But is slightly offending really offending?

British Sunday Times legal correspondent Nick “Mr Loophole” Freeman refers to the legal principle of de minimis.

That means the offence is so slight that it’s not really infringing the law and becomes a waste of taxpayers’ money to pursue such a trivial prosecution.

But who has the money to afford a lawyer to fight such a fine?


  1. Perhaps this is Scottish Parliament punishment for the Jocks rejecting the independence vote?? Wal yee be payin fer that laddie!!!

  2. I seem to be the only person to notice that the Northern Territory with its partially totally-unlimited, and 130Kmh highways, – recorded no deaths during the Christmas period. The media’s silence is deafening. We can imagine what they would be saying if there had been a multiple fatality crash on a derestricted highway.

    So the traffic density is relatively low, but if speed was the demon we’re constantly told, – to the point where 1 MPH over the limit generates fines worth hundreds of dollars, – then there has to be a clear message there from the NT. But I have not seen a single newspaper report to that effect.

  3. And soon the motorcycles will stop going there, hitting local businesses in the pocket. Here in NSW it’s pretty much the same. Me and the wife used to love jumping on the bike and heading down to Berry or the Kangaroo Valley. Then they brought in double demerits so we stopped going during the holidays, and recently with the zero tolerance for even minor infringements, we have stopped going altogether. We’d always stop for a few coffees and a meal, and she’d always grab a small gift or too – not much, but over the years it would have added up to a few thousand. I mostly ride for fun on the dirt now, and there’s the other thing: I was going to buy a new FJ Yam or ZX14 for 2015 but I ended up not bothering for the same reason. And that money stayed in my bank account instead of circulating in the local economy.

  4. A high sideline ‘cost’ to this attitude of attack policing, is loss of respect for all Police, who are now seen as the enemy. And not just Highway patrol. Almost nightly we see TV news evidence of total disrespect for Police, assaults, and verbal abuse. When a respectable law-abiding citizen ‘friend of the Police’ is fined for a minor speeding infringement, the result is a loss of that ‘friend’. Never to return.
    Laws of any kind only work because they are respected. When that respect is squandered, the rule of law breaks down, and the downward spiral starts.
    The strongest countries are not Police States.

  5. This will make a good test case for the dangers of excessive speed enforcement.
    What we need is for some statistics body to analyse the current cost to the state of traffic accidents and the hospitalisation and rehabilitation of the injured, then do the same after the speed intolerance has been in place for a long enough period to get meaningful numbers and see if the extra revenue covers the cost of all the extra carnage?

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