Month: April 2017

What you need to know about the new speeding fines

​​As reported in the Daily Telegraph, Monday 24th April marked a change that 80% of UK motorists are unaware of; the increase in speeding penalties. The new changes mean you could pay hundreds of pounds more for speeding, so hasn’t there been a better time to heed advice, stick below the limit and drive safely?​

When will a ticket be issued?

As the law stands, you are breaking speeding laws the second you exceed the speed limit. Unfortunately, practically, this does not work.

To enforce the law so strictly would mean people were spending more time watching their speedometers, and less time concentrating on safe driving. That being said, speedometers often become uncalibrated and so the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) enforce a margin of error of 10% plus 2mph.

With this, most police forces won’t prosecute until you are, for example, driving at 35mph in a 30mph zone. Despite the discretion of the police forces, it is worth noting that you could have already been prosecuted via other means regardless of the suggested threshold.

How could I be caught?

Speed cameras

This is the most common way to be caught speeding. These are usually erected on a yellow pole, and if caught, will emit two bright flashes as you drive by.

Motorway networks commonly use average speed systems which record your registration as you drive by. The system works out how fast you’ve travelled between the cameras, and if your average speed is higher than the limit, you will receive a ticket.

Police officers

A police officer may use a speed gun to measure your speed and pull you over if you are above the threshold. Most police cars now have an in-car camera system which, if a car is followed, will give a breakdown of their speed.

What happens next?

The address of the car owner is established from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) will be sent. From this, you will either be sent details of speed awareness courses you must attend, a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a court summons.

What is changing?

An FPN currently results in three points and a £100 fine. However, if your speed was high and you were summoned, or rejected the FPN, the maximum fine is £1000 (£2500 on the motorway).

From April 24th 2017, there will be three main bands of speeding.

●  Band A – This is the lowest level eg. 25mph in a 20mph zone. You should expect 3 points on your licence, and a fine that is equivalent to roughly half of your weekly income.

●  Band B – This is for more serious speeding offences eg. 35mph in a 20mph zone . You can expect 4-6 points on your licence or disqualification for up to 28 days, and a fine equivalent to your full weekly income.

●  Band C – This is the highest level eg. 45mph in a 20mph zone. You should expect 6 points on your licence or disqualification of up to 56 days, plus a fine equivalent to 1 and a half times your weekly income.

All the fines are flexible, and mitigating circumstances or aggravating factors could be applied.

Speeding abroad.

An EU directive was introduced in May 2015, and as the UK did not opt out, we are soon to see changes in the UK prosecution of speeding abroad that we must abide by.

These changes will be introduced in May 2017.

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PM calls General Election

“Make a success of Brexit”: PM calls General Election

Today, Tuesday 18th April 2017, Teresa May called an emergency announcement at 11:15am to inform Britain of her decision to hold a General Election on June 8th 2017.

Speaking outside number 10, Mrs May began, “I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet, where we have agreed to call for a General Election to be held on the 8th of June. I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next, and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election.”

This comes as quite a shock to many, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly enforced that she would not be holding a General Election before the already scheduled 2020 poll.

She continued to explain that “the division in Westminster will continue to risk our ability to make a success of Brexit, and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.”

Having already informed the Queen of her decision yesterday, Mrs May made it quite clear that “we need an election, and we need it now”. During her statement, she indicated that this decision wasn’t one she came to lightly, and only reached her decision over the Parliamentary recess held over the Easter holiday.

It would appear her decision is supported by Parliament, with Senior Tories urging her to call the election, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stating “it will give the British people the chance to vote for a Government that will put the interests of the majority first”.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed her decision, and gave the Conservative candidates his “very best wishes”.

Five pound note

One Month to Spend Your Old £5 Notes

September 13th 2016 saw the introduction of the new polymer £5 note, leaving people 8 months to spend their old notes.

From Friday 5th May 2017, the old £5 note will cease to be legal tender, meaning shops and not all banks will accept them.

The Bank of England have stated that there are still roughly 160 million notes still in circulation, urging people to check their piggy banks and purses to get the notes spent or banked within the four remaining weeks.

It is at the Banks and Building Societies discretion whether they accept the old note after the 5th May, and The Bank of England will continue to exchange the note forever as it does any other note that has ceased.

Following on from the lowest note, the polymer £10 note will enter circulation in September 2017, and the £20 note will enter circulation by 2020.

Registration Fees for Lasting Powers of Attorney are Reducing.

All Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) must be registered before they can be used. This process is carried out at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and until recently, this cost £110 per LPA.

It has now been announced that as of 1st April 2017, the cost to register your LPA will now be £82 making a saving of £28!

Despite the registration service becoming more efficient, Ministers are hoping that reducing the fees will encourage more people to take out an LPA, protecting themselves and their future.

For those who have recently submitted an application which is to be paid after 1st April, the difference in price will be refunded and Solicitors have been instructed to return the difference to the person who paid the original fee.

LCS are currently offering a fantastic special offer of 2 for 1 on all LPAs which now makes this too good to miss.

To arrange your appointment, contact LCS now on 0345 017 8250 for peace of mind for you and your family.