The Spectator

Do speeding fines work?


Fine lines

Would Suella Braverman be more likely to stick to the speed limit had she chosen to go on a speed awareness course instead of being fined? A government-commissioned study in 2018 looked at the reoffending rate among 1.4 million drivers who had accepted the offer of a speed awareness course and compared it with that of drivers who opted to take three points and pay a fine instead. Within two years of taking the course, around a quarter of drivers had reoffended. However, the rate was lower than it was for motorists who had chosen to pay the fine. The relative reduction of reoffending was put at 12-23% after six months, 9-17% after one year, 9-11% after two years and 6-13% after three years.  

Streets ahead

Where in England will you pay the highest and lowest council tax for a band D property?


Westminster                                         £478

Wandsworth                                        £487

Hammersmith and Fulham                £871

City of London                                    £961


Gateshead                                        £2,070

Nottingham                                     £2,052

Bristol                                               £1,996

Northumberland                             £1,985

Crop and change

How has agriculture in England changed in a century? Land measurements in hectares:

2000                                                  2022

3.97m       Land under crops       3.86m

3.5m                 Grassland              3.64m

6.16m                 Cattle                  5.11m

19.1m                 Sheep                  14.9m

5.44m                   Pigs                   4.11m

130m                  Poultry                  139m

333,000           Workers           301,000

Source: Defra

Seeds of doubt

Sales of vegan foods fell by £37.3 million in the year to September 2022, according to retail intelligence company Nielsen IQ. How is the campaign to persuade us to take up plant-based diets going? Percentage of UK population who say they are:

                           Vegan                Vegetarian

July 2019             2                             5

January 2020       2                             5

July 2020                                        6

January 2021                                  5

July 2021             3                             7

January 2022       2                             5

July 2022                                         5

January 2023       3                             5

Source: YouGov

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