Fewer than half of drivers caught speeding at more than 100mph in Tayside have been prosecuted by the courts over the last three years, the Tele can reveal.
Figures show that just 28 of the area’s most reckless 63 drivers were reported to the procurator fiscal for their dangerous speeds, including one man who blasted along the A90 in February at 123mph.
He was caught by a speed camera at 9.39pm on February 9 going 123mph between Dundee and Aberdeen at Waterston junction.
He was then caught again on another camera, further up the road just four minutes later at exactly the same speed near Stracathro.
But, despite being snapped by two speed cameras, all that could be identified was the driver’s sex and the type of vehicle he was in.
The authorities were not able to gather enough evidence to prosecute him for the offence.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, labelled the figures as “not acceptable”.
He said: “I’m not sure what’s worse — drivers breaking the limit by such amounts or half of them getting away with it. It’s not acceptable.
“If the equipment is there for anything it is surely to catch the most extreme speeders who pose most risk, rather than those who are only fractions over the limit.”
But Andy Jones, the east area safety camera manager, said that while fewer than half of the worst drivers were prosecuted, the figures across the board were much more positive.
He said: “From these figures, it is true that about 50% have not been reported, but this is just out of a sample of 20 cases a year.
“Out of all offences, the true figure is about 17% who aren’t reported, and that will also include emergency vehicles who will be exempt. What I will say is that Police Scotland will work tirelessly to trace the driver of a vehicle caught speeding.
“These figures are nothing to do with the technology of the cameras — it is to do with a number of different factors.
“I can’t go into each separate case, but one example could be that the number plate is obscured or it could be dirty.”
The figures were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information request by the Tele to find out the top 20 speeds recorded in Tayside by non-emergency vehicles each year, and it predictably showed that the most excessive ones were found on the A90 and A9.
The highest was captured on the A90 at the Waterston Road camera in Angus, where a 23-year-old man was caught travelling 129mph at 5.19am on February 22 2014. On that occasion he was reported to the procurator fiscal.
The youngest offender was an 18-year-old flooring his car at 101mph on the A90 near Stracathro in November 2014, while the oldest was a 58-year-old in 2012 who was caught at 114mph on the A90 at Douglastown.
The figures showed that 87% of those captured by cameras doing more than 100mph were male.
All of the offending vehicles were cars, except three motorbikes and one light goods vehicle that was recorded travelling at 110mph in March on the A90 at the Kirriemuir junction.
Martin Tait, who is the chairman of the Dundee Road Safety Forum, labelled the figures “disappointing”.
He said: “Speed limits are there for a reason and they are set to a speed that the road can take safely.
“So it’s disappointing there are people driving to excessive speeds, as it’s dangerous and reckless driving at that kind of speed.
“It’s also disappointing that only 50% end up prosecuted and I think there’s some work that all the partnerships need to be doing to address this. Some speed cameras have been in situ for a long time, so maybe we need to get more up-to-date cameras.”
Martin insisted that the public also needed to help the police in catching offenders.
He said: “If someone sees a car driving too fast then I would urge them to report it.
“The worst thing would be to say nothing and then, further down the line, you find out they were in a road traffic accident and someone had died.
“Just pull over in a safe place and report the driver, or ask a passenger to put a call in.” But, despite his concerns, Martin said our roads were now much safer than in the past.
He added: “We have more speed cameras and average speed cameras in operation and there are so many educational activities that are done now.
“It’s a much more positive picture, but that’s not to say there’s nothing else for us to do.”