THERE was a 41 per cent rise in the number of speeders fined in West Mercia last year, figures reveal.

West Mercia Police logged 31,023 speeding tickets paid by drivers snapped on camera in 2018, the latest Home Office statistics show – 41 per cent more than in 2017.

This was far more than the 24,185 paid when comparable records began in 2011.

Not every snap resulted in a fine – overall, cameras flashed for 91,423 speed violations in West Mercia last year.

Drivers found to have broken the speed limit face possible punishments ranging from a fine to attending a speed awareness course, or even court action.

Police forces can send someone on a driver retraining course, which includes those on speed awareness, at their own discretion – meaning figures for fines may differ widely across the country.

However, those having to retrain can only attend a course once in a three-year period, even if they commit the same offence again.

In West Mercia, camera-detected speed violations led to 6,713 court actions and 44,189 drivers retraining. There were also 45 incomplete and 9,453 cancelled fines.

Across England and Wales, speed limit offences were at their highest level recorded since 2011 last year.

Samuel Nahk, senior public affairs officer at Brake, said: "Breaking the speed limit by any amount can have devastating consequences, and drivers who selfishly ignore speed limits put not only themselves, but other road users, at serious risk.

"Speed cameras play a crucial role in enforcing our traffic laws, and are a proven, cost-effective way of reducing speed and preventing deaths and serious injuries.

"However, road safety isn't just about enforcement, we need safer speed limits, safer vehicles and safer road infrastructure to make sure that no journey ends in tragedy and we all manage to get home to our loved ones safely."

Cameras detected 97% of the 2.1 million offences recorded across England and Wales by police last year, according to the figures, as well as 74% of cases where drivers neglected traffic directions. This could involve, for example, a failure to follow road signs such as "right of way".

Drivers found to have committed a motoring offence attended a retraining course in about 45% of cases with a penalty recorded, far higher than the 14% reported in 2011.

A further 40% of offences resulted in a fine paid and 15% involved court action.