We are Specialist Speeding Offence Solicitors
At Caddick Davies Solicitors we specialise in the representation of motorists charged with speeding offences, including both successfully challenging speeding offences and also minimising the penalty that is imposed.
As specialist speeding solicitors we are able to use our unrivalled knowledge of police enforcement technology, ranging from GATSO cameras to in-car police VASCAR systems to provide the best possible representation to those clients who wish to challenge any allegation of speeding made against them.
For those clients who have made an error and accept that they were speeding, we are able to use our extensive knowledge of road traffic law and sentencing to minimise any penalty that might be imposed. This includes arguing for a speed awareness course in the alternative to prosecution, persuading courts not to impose any disqualification or to minimise penalty points and even in some cases persuading the court not to impose any penalty points on the grounds of “special reasons”.
Below you will find a wealth of information on speeding law and answers to many commonly asked questions about speeding offences and if you find yourself with a speeding ticket or a court summons (or requisition), please call us for a no-obligation consultation.
- Penalty for Speeding
If a speeding offence is dealt with by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice, the penalty will include a £100.00 penalty and the endorsement of 3 penalty points.
If a speeding offence is prosecuted before a magistrates’ court, the penalty for speeding is a maximum fine of £1000.00 (the maximum is £2,500.00 if the speeding occurred on a motorway) and the endorsement of between 3 and 6 penalty points or disqualification from driving.
When determining the appropriate penalty the magistrates will be guided by the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines and both the fine and number of penalty points (or the length of disqualification) will be determined by the speed.
By way of example, if you are convicted of driving at a speed of 51mph or above within a 30mph speed limit, the starting point for the magistrates will be to consider your disqualification from driving for between 7 and 56 days or to endorse 6 penalty points.
If you are prosecuted for an offence of speeding before a Magistrates’ Court and are concerned about the penalty which might be imposed, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
- Defences to Speeding
There are a range of defences which may be argued in speeding cases depending upon the facts. These include, but are not limited to the following:
•Factual – I was not speeding
•Expired time limits i.e. Notice of intended prosecution and summons
•Signage – The speed limit was not identifiable
•Speed detection devices – was it approved, operating correctly and operated correctly.
Whilst there are a number of defences that can be argued, you should be very wary of anyone who tells you that there is a magical defence to speeding as there is a wealth of misinformation on the internet.
If you have been charged with speeding and wonder whether you may have a defence, please call for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
- Special Reasons in Speeding Cases
In all speeding cases the magistrates have a discretion not to endorse penalty points for the offence if they are satisfied that there were “special reasons” in connection with the offence.
For instance if you were driving at excess speed owing to an emergency, subject to the facts, it may be argued that penalty points should not be endorsed.
We have successfully avoided the endorsement of penalty points on behalf of a number of clients for reasons ranging from rushing to get to a toilet to having a genuine and honest misunderstanding of the speed limit in force.
If you believe that you may have “special reasons”, please contact us for advice a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
- Fixed Penalty Notices for Speeding
In the alternative to offering a speed awareness course or formal prosecution before the magistrates’ court, the police have the discretion to offer a FIXED PENALTY NOTICE (FPN).
For Speeding offences the Fixed Penalty Notice imposes a penalty of £100 and endorses 3 penalty points.
This Fixed Penalty Notice is an administrative alternative to either a Speed Awareness Course or formal prosecution before a magistrates’ court and it is important the realise that the penalty which the court will impose is often more severe than that of the Fixed Penalty Notice (i.e. at court the financial penalty and number of penalty points may be higher).
When offered a Fixed Penalty Notice, the motorist is not obliged to accept it and if you do not accept that you have committed the offence or you believe that there were circumstances “special to the offence” which excuses it (e.g. you were driving in emergency circumstances) then the FPN should be rejected.
You may reject a FPN by simply not accepting it or formally completing the back of the notice requesting a court hearing.
When deciding whether or not to accept a Fixed Penalty Notice, care should always be taken and advice sought.
If you have received a Fixed Penalty Notice and don’t know what to do, please call us for advice a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
- Speed Awareness Courses
For less serious speeding offences, all 42 police forces in England and Wales have the discretion to offer a Speed Awareness Course in the alternative to either a Fixed Penalty or formal prosecution before the Magistrates’ Court.
A Speed Awareness Course should be offered where an offender and the offence meet the Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) eligibility criteria, one of which is the speed alleged.
SPEED AWARENESS THRESHOLD:
In general terms a speed awareness course may be offered at the discretion of the police where the speed is lower than 10% of the speed limit plus 9 miles per hour.
By way of example within a 30mph speed limit, a motorist would be eligible for a speed awareness course up to a speed of 42mph (calculated as 10% of the speed limit (33mph) plus 9mph).
If you have not been offered a Speed Awareness Course and you believe that you should be eligible, please contact us in order to discuss how we may help you.
- Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) for Speeding
Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, provides that in order for a person to be convicted of an offence of speeding:
(a) the person must have been warned at the time of the offence about the possibility of prosecution;
(b) the registered keeper must have been sent a notice within 14 days of the offence notifying them of the possibility of prosecution; or
(c) the person must have been served a court summons within 13 days of the offence.
The effect of this is that you may not be convicted of speeding unless you have either been stopped at the roadside for speeding or the registered keeper has been notified by post within 14 days in the form of a written “notice of intended prosecution” which is usually combined with a request to identify the driver of the vehicle.
It is important to note that if a written notice of intended prosecution is relied upon, this must be served on the REGISTERED KEEPER (the person registered with the DVLA as owning the vehicle). This means that if you are not the registered keeper, you do not have to receive a notice of intended prosecution. By way of example, if you are the driver of a lease vehicle, the notice must be sent to the leasing company if they are the registered keeper.
The rules in connection with whether or not a Notice of Intended Prosecution has been properly served can be quite complex and therefore if you receive a notice of intended prosecution and believe that it may not have been correctly served, please contact us in order that we may provide further advice and discuss how we may help you.
- Speed Enforcement Guidelines
If you drive in excess of the speed limit then you are committing an offence for which you may be prosecuted, however in deciding whether enforcement action should be taken (by way of speed awareness course, fixed penalty notice or prosecution) police officers and forces are issued with guidance from the Association of Police Officers (ACPO).
In all cases of speeding police officers and forces are encouraged to allow a “tolerance” level by which the speed limit may be exceeded before formal enforcement action will be taken. Enforcement will not generally follow where the speed is lower than 10% of the speed limit plus 2 miles per hour.
By way of example within a 30mph zone this should generally mean that you will not be prosecuted provided that you are BELOW a speed of 35mph (calculated as 10% of the 30mph speed limit plus 2).
SUMMONS BEFORE THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT:
In cases where the speed limit is exceeded by a significant amount, then police officers are guided that a prosecution should be brought before the magistrates’ court by way of court summons (or requisition.
By way of example if you are above the following speeds within the relevant speed limits then the guidance to police officers (and forces is to prosecute):
20mph speed limit – above 35mph
30mph speed limit – above 50mph
40mph speed limit – above 66mph
50mph speed limit – above 76mph
60mph speed limit – above 86mph
70mph speed limit – above 96mph
- Speed Detection Devices
The police have available to them a wide range of methods for detecting excess speed and some of the main methods and devices used are detailed below:
Police Follow Check:
This is the most straight forward of all of the methods of speed detection and simply involves a police officer following a vehicle at a constant distance and speed in order to determine the speed of the vehicle. Issued guidance recommends that a follow check takes place over a distance of 2/10 of a mile (352 yards or 321 metres) and that speedometers should be calibrated in order to ensure the reliability of the evidence.
Time and Distance Devices:
The police will also use Time and Distance Devices such as VASCAR and PUMA, which use the distance travelled by a vehicle and the time taken to calculate its speed. These devices are usually used in conjunction with an in-car video recording device which can be used to determine the accuracy of the evidence.
Laser Speed Detection Devices:
These are usually handheld or operated from a tripod located within a mobile speed detection van and use an emitted laser beam to determine the speed of a vehicle. In order for the readings of these devices to be reliable, it is important that they are calibrated at intervals specified by the manufacturer and also that pre checks are made prior to using.
These devices include –
LTI 20:20 Ultralite 100
LTI 20:20 Ultralite 1000
Fixed Speed Cameras:
The most common type of fixed speed camera is the GATSOMETER BV Type 24 + AUS which is usually housed within a yellow casing with which everyone is familiar, however there are also a number of other Fixed Speed Cameras in operation throughout the UK which include:
GATSOMETER BV Type 36
HADECS I & II (Highways Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System)
TRUVELO Combi Smc
SPECS (Average Speed camera)
All of the above devices work in slightly different ways using either radar or road sensors in order to identify a vehicles speed.
If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for Speeding and require assistance, please call us for a advice a no obligation consultation.
Specialist Speeding Solicitor Representation
- How can we help?
As speeding offence solicitors, we can assist you if you have received a fixed penalty notice or a court summons and you wish to challenge the prosecution or minimise the penalty which will be imposed.
In each and every case we will provide a provisional assessment of any grounds for challenging your prosecution, the likelihood of success and the possible penalties which may be imposed.
We use our expertise and experience in defending road traffic prosecutions to ensure the best result for you. Defences may include straight forward factual defences such as, “I wasn’t speeding”, to more technical defences including the application of speed limits, the use of speed detection equipment, the service of documents and the admissibility of evidence. We have successfully defended many motorists facing prosecution and have protected their license.
If you accept that you were speeding (even the most careful of motorists can make a misjudgement), then we will mitigate any sentence which may be imposed, which can include arguing “special reasons” as to why points should not be imposed or alternatively persuading the court that yours is a case that can be addressed by way of the endorsement with fewer penalty points or in more serious cases persuading the court to endorse your licence with points in the alternative to disqualification.
If you have a query about a speeding matter, please call us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
Commonly Asked Questions About Speeding Offences
- I have been caught speeding at over 100mph. Will I be disqualified from driving?
It is a common misconception that driving at a speed of 100mph or over on a motorway (or dual carriageway) will automatically result in an immediate disqualification.
At speeds of up to 100mph, the magistrates are guided to endorse the driving licence with between 4 and 6 penalty points or to impose a discretionary disqualification of between 7 and 28 days. In these cases, subject to the broader circumstances of the offence (e.g. traffic and road conditions at the time of the offence) and the drivers’ driving record, it is quite possible that a disqualification from driving will be avoided and we are regularly able to avoid disqualification on behalf of our clients who find themselves in this position.
For speeds of 101mph to 110mph (and over) the magistrates are guided to impose a disqualification from driving of between 7 and 56 days or to endorse the driving licence with 6 penalty points. Whilst more difficult to avoid disqualification, in such cases disqualification can again be avoided in favour of the endorsement of penalty points. Over the years we have represented many motorists who have found themselves in this position and have successfully avoided disqualification and minimised the consequences of the offence.
This advice is of course not intended to encourage speeding and each and every motorist must of course drive responsibly, however if you find yourself in this position and require advice, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
- I have been offered a Fixed Penalty Notice for speeding. Should I accept it?
A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for speeding, is an administrative alternative to prosecution before a Magistrates’ Court.
If you accept the Fixed Penalty Notice you will be required to pay a penalty of £100.00 and 3 penalty points will be endorsed on your driving licence.
There is no obligation to accept a Fixed Penalty Notice and you may reject it and request that your case is heard by a court.
You should only accept a Fixed Penalty Notice if you accept that you have committed the offence. If you do not accept that you have committed the offence then you should reject the fixed Penalty Notice.
Before rejecting a Fixed Penalty Notice, you should seek legal advice, as the penalty which a court may impose for the offence of speeding (if it is proved) will sometimes be more severe than the penalty offered by the Fixed Penalty Notice (e.g. the FPN for speeding at 50mph in a 30mph speed limit might be £100 and 3 points, but if convicted a Magistrates’ Court is likely to impose a far higher fine to a maximum of £1000.00 and as many as 6 penalty points).
If you have been offered a Fixed Penalty Notice and don’t know whether to accept it, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
- I have been offered a Speed Awareness Course. Should I accept it?
If you accept that you have committed an offence of speeding then it would be our advice to attend on any course offered to you.
The Speed Awareness Course is offered in the alternative to a Fixed Penalty Notice or formal prosecution before the Magistrates’ Court and does not in itself impose any penalty.
The Speed Awareness Course takes the form of a 1/2 day classroom session (approximately 3 hours) and ranges between £80 and £120.
If you do not accept that you have committed the offence, then as a matter of principle you may wish to reject the offer and request that any case is heard before a Magistrates’ Court where you can challenge the charge against you.
If you have been offered a Speed Awareness Course and don’t know what to do, please call us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
- I have not been offered a Speed Awareness Course for speeding. Is there anything I can do?
Speed Awareness Courses are offered by all 42 police forces in England and Wales and provide an alternative to a Fixed Penalty Notice or Prosecution before the Magistrates’ Court.
Most police forces will offer a Speed Awareness Course where the driver is eligible in accordance with the circumstances of the offence and guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers (details of this guidance can be found in our speeding law section above).
If you are not offered a speed awareness course, but believe that you are eligible (even if you are marginally outside the criteria), then representations can be made to the police to review their decision.
If you find yourself in this position, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.
- I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) for speeding and a request to identify the driver - Do I have to respond?
If you do not respond to a Notice of Intended Prosecution for a speeding offence you will commit a separate offence of “Failing to Identify the Driver”, which attracts a fine of up to £1000.00 and 6 penalty points (or disqualification).
If you do know who the driver is then you respond and identify that person (if this is you or someone else).
- If I identify myself as the driver can I still challenge the offence of speeding?
When you respond to a Notice of Intended Prosecution for speeding, you are simply confirming who the driver is.
In identifying yourself as the driver you are not admitting to the speeding offence, but are simply confirming who the driver was at the time of the alleged offence.
If having identified yourself as the driver you then want to challenge the offence, it is open to you to enter a Not Guilty Plea at court and to challenge any alleged speeding offence at trial.
- I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) for speeding and request for driver information - Can I request photographic evidence before replying?
If you are having difficulty identifying the driver, it is prudent to ask the police to provide any available photographic evidence as this may assist you.
The police are not under any legal obligation to provide this but will often do so in order to assist in the identification of the driver.
Even if the police do not agree to provide photographic evidence, you remain under a duty to identify the driver (if you are able to do so).
- I have received a request for driver information and I do not know who the driver is - What do I do?
The registered keeper (or any other person) is under a legal obligation to identify the driver of their vehicle if the vehicle is alleged to have committed an offence (e.g. speeding) and they are asked by the police. If you do not identify the driver then you will likely be summonsed to appear before the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of “failing to identify the driver”.
If you do not know who the driver is, then it will be a defence if you are able to show that you did not know who the driver was and you have exercised all REASONABLE DILIGENCE to identify the driver.
This means that you will have to show firstly that you did not know who the driver was and secondly that you have taken all reasonable steps to work out who it was.
This will usually mean asking the police for photographic evidence, looking at the location of the offence, the time, speaking to all of the possible drivers and generally doing all that you can to work out who it was.
If you find yourself faced with a request from the police and unable to identify the driver you should write to the police explaining the difficulties that you are encountering and if there are a number of possible drivers, providing the names and addresses of these people.
If you are subsequently prosecuted for failing to provide driver information, this letter will provide valuable evidence that you have acted reasonably and done all that you can.