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Caught on camera: 151mph on M23 driver convicted

Police have released video footage which shows the moment a young driver is caught speeding at 151mph on the M23.

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This incident, captured by our safety camera team, recorded the Audi TT RS travelling at more than double the 70mph limit.

The driver was reported for dangerous driving and has since been convicted in court.

To view the footage online, visit the Sussex Police Facebook or Twitter pages.

Its release comes as West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service urges motorists to slow down as part of its speeding prevention month.

Last year, 16 people died and a further 239 were seriously injured by speed-related collisions in Sussex.

Chris Snell, of the Sussex Police Safety Camera Team, said: “Speed restrictions are in place for a reason – they are a legal limit; not a target, and your speed should be adjusted according to the conditions. Exceeding the speed limit is dangerous and can have devastating consequences.

“Every year, our officers have the unenviable task of passing a death message onto numerous families of victims involved in speed-related collisions. It also has a huge impact on emergency services partners who are called to assist with incidents, the vast majority of which could have been avoided.

“Speeding significantly reduces your ability to react to hazards on the road, such as wildlife, debris and other traffic. By the time you become aware of a hazard at such speeds, it could be too late.”

The footage was captured on 25 August 2018 on the M23 northbound at Crawley as part of routine safety and enforcement checks.

Following extensive enquiries, the driver was identified as Ricardo Thompson, 21, a builder, of Belvedere Avenue, Lancing.

He was later summoned before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 22 May to face a charge of dangerous driving.

In police interview, Thompson was apologetic for his actions, and said his reason for speeding was to get to work on time.

He was given credit for his guilty plea and was disqualified from driving for 15 months. He was also required to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

He will also be required to take an extended retest should he wish to drive again.

At the time of the offence, the safety camera team van was parked on a police ramp in full view of traffic.

This week, WSFRS has launched a social media campaign urging people to cut their speed.

Nicki Peddle, Head of Prevention for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Last year we attended 684 road traffic collisions in West Sussex.

“Attending these incidents is a big part of firefighters’ roles and we want to highlight the potentially fatal consequences of speeding. If drivers maintain a safe speed there is more chance of preventing a tragedy from happening.”

Being caught speeding could result in:

  • Up to six points on your licence;
  • Fine of up to 175% of your weekly income;
  • Driving ban or licence revoked (if you’re still within two years of passing your test);
  • Disqualification;
  • Criminal record;
  • Prison sentence;
  • The death or serious injury of either yourself or an innocent person.

Police

Sussex Police set to launch summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers

You might feel fine to drive, but if you’re over the limit you’re at serious risk of killing or seriously injuring someone – or yourself.

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This is the message being issued as Sussex Police and Surrey Police prepare to launch their annual summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.

The campaign aims to keep road users as safe as possible, by educating motorists of the dangers of drink and drug-driving, and by targeting offenders.

The forces dedicate resources to the campaign twice a year – during summer and at Christmas, when social occasions are at their peak – however, this is in addition to responding to reports of drink and drug-drivers 365 days a year.

Anyone caught and convicted as part of the summer 2019 crackdown, which runs from 24 June to 7 July inclusive, will be identified on the Sussex Police news website and social media pages.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Sussex Police and Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit, said:

“Ultimately, our main aim is to keep people as safe as possible on our roads by providing education, and by enforcing the law where we need to.

“It goes without saying that drink and drug-driving destroys lives, and it’s something that can so easily be avoided.

“People have a clear decision to make. By choosing to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, you are choosing to take a huge risk. Alcohol and substances significantly impair your ability to carry out even the simplest of tasks, and you should never get behind the wheel of a car in these circumstances.

“Similarly, you should never get into a vehicle with someone you know who has consumed drink or drugs. Don’t put yourself in danger.

“You can also be over the limit the morning after. A common misconception is that a few hours’ sleep, a coffee and some breakfast will do the trick, but it can take several hours for alcohol to leave your system and even longer for drugs.

“Of course we want people to have fun and enjoy themselves this summer, but don’t do anything you might regret. We’re not out there to ruin your fun; in fact, we’d rather not make any arrests at all. But if you’re prepared to break the law then prepare to face the consequences.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said:

“I am always dismayed by the number of people who choose to get behind the wheel of their vehicle when they are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This is not just inconsiderate, it’s totally irresponsible. Those who kill or seriously injure others when over the limit should be in no doubt that they will face the legal and social consequences of their actions.

“The message is clear, drink or drive; don’t take the risk and do both, even if you have had ‘only one drink’.”

The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include the following:

  • A minimum 12 month ban;
  • An unlimited fine;
  • A possible prison sentence;
  • A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
  • An increase in your car insurance;
  • Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA;
  • You could also kill or seriously injure yourself or someone else.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website. 

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online. 

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.

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