SPEEDING accounted for more than nine in 10 driving offences in Thames Valley last year, figures reveal.

The transport research charity RAC Foundation says the simple rule for drivers who want to avoid a speeding ticket is to stay within the limit.

Analysis of Home Office data by the group shows that motorists were caught driving too fast 145,447 times by Thames Valley Police in 2018-19.

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It means 92 per cent of the 158,854 motoring offences recorded over the period were for speeding.

This was a higher proportion than across England and Wales as a whole – 84 per cent of the 2.8 million motoring infractions logged across the two nations were for speeding.

Steve Gooding of the RAC Foundation said: “The simple rule for drivers who don’t want to risk ending up with a speeding ticket is not to break the limit in the first place.

“Where limits are properly signposted, and clearly feel right for the road in question, then motorists have no excuse for going faster.

“But that means highway authorities also have a responsibility to make sure the limits they set are appropriate and to avoid instances where the limit repeatedly bounces up and down along a single stretch.”

The number of speeding offences detected in Thames Valley in 2018-19 was 11 per cent higher than during the previous year, and 6 per cent more than in 2011-12.

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Across England and Wales, the 2.4 million offences recorded in 2018-19 represented a 4 per cent annual increase, and a 37 per cent rise compared with seven years previously.

In Thames Valley, 55 per cent of speeding offences in 2018-19 were dealt with by sending the driver on a speed awareness course.

The next most common outcome was a fine (36 per cent per cent), while 6 per cent of offences were cancelled and 2 per cent wound up in court.

The analysis, which was carried out with Liverpool John Moores University, found that the number of drivers caught speeding varied widely across England and Wales.

The police force that detected the most speeding offences in 2018-19 was West Yorkshire with 182,000.

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But in Wiltshire, where all speed cameras were turned off in 2010, the police caught fewer than 1,000 people speeding.

Researchers suggested the disparity is partly due to road type, traffic volume and local policing priorities.

Department for Transport figures show 186 people were killed and 1,505 seriously injured in crashes on Britain's roads in 2018 in which a vehicle exceeding the speed limit was a contributory factor.