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VIDEO: 151mph M23 driver convicted of speeding

News   •   Jun 06, 2019 14:07 BST

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

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.