WHICH one is the speeder – the boy racer or the middle-aged driver?
The simple truth is both are – but not as many young drivers as you may think.
For analysis of speeding and jumping red traffic light offences committed in the two years from 2005 to 2007 in the county reveals that, out of a total of 141,242 offences, fewer than 7% – 9,737 – were committed by drivers aged up to 24.
But 28,738 were committed by 25 to 34-year-olds and 38,529 by 35 to 44-year-olds.
Older and more experienced drivers were guilty of more than 93% – 131,505 – of all speeding offences.
West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership spokesman Philip Gwynne said: “Ask most people who is the biggest menace on the road and they will probably say boy racers – young men in “souped-up” cars with a reputation for reckless and illegal driving behaviour, often exacerbated by drink or drugs – speeding, tailgating, lane hopping and inadequate signalling – to the accompaniment of loud, pounding music.
“But this new research by West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership shows they don’t deserve their reputation – at least, not in West Yorkshire.’’
Partnership chairman Steve Thornton added: “It’s easy to blame young people for the ills of society.
“They are an easy target to brand as speeders, but these new figures prove this is not the case.
“You’d think that older, more mature and more experienced drivers would set a better example.”
PC Peter Doyle from Huddersfield traffic police said speeders are all ages.
He said: “A few days ago, I was doing speed checks on Huddersfield Road, between the roundabout over the M62 and Bradley Bar roundabout, and caught a man in his 30s doing 71mph in a 50mph limit, a man aged over 60 doing 60mph in a 40mph limit and a taxi driver doing 53mph in a 40mph zone.
“And then I did some checks on Carr Hill Road in Upper Cumberworth and caught a 41-year-old woman with two kids in the car doing 43mph in a 30mph limit and a 20-year-old man doing 40mph in a 30mph, even though he had seen me.
“What is worrying about many of theses cases is that the people failed to see the fully marked police car by the side of the road, so what chance would a child have if they ran out into the road in front of them?’’