56-day driving ban ‘is a joke’

Suffolk Police have described a 56-day ban for a driver caught doing 154mph as a ‘joke’.

Twenty one-year-old motorist Louie Howlett was clocked at that speed on the A11 in April, but magistrates’ hands were tied when it came to penalties as 56 days is the maximum sentence they can hand down for that offence.

However, Suffolk Police believe this is the highest speeding offence recorded on the county’s roads and are appealing the lenient sentence.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said, ‘Driving at that speed is grossly irresponsible, remarkably selfish and has a wanton disregard for every other road user on the A11. We should be looking at a few years. To me, [56 days] is a joke because it doesn’t send a strong enough message.’

He described the ban as a ‘slap on the wrist’ and would ask the Sentencing Council why magistrates can only impose a maximum 56-day ban.

Magistrates follow guidelines laid down in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, although the maximum speed listed in the guidelines is 101-110mph in a 70mph zone.