new laws

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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