Scotland’s traffic police have now secured legal powers to issue formal warnings to motorists who are driving at just above the speed limit.

It means that the rule of 10% plus 2mph will no longer apply – and it is thought that the rest of the UK will be watching the development very closely.

A six-month pilot will begin in the autumn and enables police to target drivers who are law-abiding in every other way.

Police Scotland believes Formal Adult Warnings will be more effective than informal warnings and help to make motorists think twice about the speeds they drive at.

So, even if someone was found driving at 44mph in a 40mph area, they could be stopped and issued with the warning, which states that you are committing an offence.

If you were then to repeat the offence it would leave you with no excuse but to pay the fine and take the points.

The change comes as part of a drive by Scottish police to tackle road deaths and make them a top priority.

The country’s head of roads policing, Iain Murray, says research shows that half of us engage in illegal risk-taking on the road each year.

He believes issuing formal warnings will challenge this behavior and force people to reconsider their driving habits.

However, the scheme may have an unwanted side effect: formal warnings, unlike informal warnings, require an offence to be added to statistics.

This could mean that future results show a rise in the number of speeding offences occurring in Scotland.

But that aside, if the pilot is shown to be successful then it shouldn’t come as any surprise if police south of the border start requesting similar legal powers as well…

If you have committed a speeding offence or any other motoring offence contact our  our specialist motoring solicitors for advice on 0800 046 3066