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Whether you have been caught speeding by a policeman, static speed camera, or mobile speed camera, it can be an inconvenience resulting in fines, points on your licence, or disqualification or suspension of your driving licence. With roads getting busier and with a faster pace of life, speeding offences are increasing and account for around 85% of road offences. If you have been unfortunate enough to have been issued with a speeding fine, here is everything you need to know.
How fast do I need to go to get a speeding penalty?
There are three national speed limits:
- 30mp/h speed limit on roads where there is street lighting. This is sometimes referred to as a Restricted Road.
- 60mp/h is the national speed limit on roads without street lighting (single and dual carriageways)
- 70mp/h is the national speed limit on some dual carriageways and on all motorways
- Some roads are marked with repeater signs carrying different speed limits such as 20mp/h near schools, or 40mp/h on country lanes. Pay careful attention to these signs as they often indicate a speed limit lower than what might be expected for the area.
Speed limits are set by authorities based on how often a driver might need to stop or how likely it is they might encounter any kind of obstruction or hazard. Generally, for every 1 mph reduction in average speed, collision frequency reduces by around 5%, so speed limits are set based on need as well as experience of a certain location – which is why there can be national speed limits.
These speed limits are exact and although there is a misunderstanding that there is a 10% leeway allowed on all speed limits, this is not necessarily true. Although guidance from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) recommends giving drivers a so-called ‘10% plus 2’ leeway, this is more of a guide for police officers to aid them in their discretion when issuing tickets, rather than a hard and fast rule.
Legally, you are liable for a speeding fine as soon as you exceed the limit – even if you are going 71mp/h on a motorway.
Although speed cameras need to be manually set to be triggered at a certain speed, it is not a given that they will be set with a 10% leeway. To avoid a penalty for speeding, you are always better off driving at the legal speed limit.
How much does a Speeding Penalty cost?
The smallest speeding penalty will cost you £100 and 3 points on your licence, unless you are eligible for a speed awareness course. The amount rises depending on factors such as where you were speeding, how fast you were going, and mitigating circumstances. The police have broken down most speeding into categories or “bands” with a penalty adjusted by which band the offence fits into:
|Band A||Band B||Band C|
|Speeding band by speed limit zone||20mp/h zone||21-30||31-40||41+|
|Fine issued||25-75% of weekly income||75-125% of weekly income||125-175% of weekly income|
|Points or disqualification||3 points||4-6 points or disqualification for 7-28 days||6 points or disqualification for 7-56 days|
The maximum penalty issued for speeding is £1,000, o £2,500 if you are caught speeding on the motorway.
You could also be disqualified from driving in certain cases or if you build up 12 or more penalty points, also called “totting up”, within a period of 3 years.
There are also bands D, E, and F which are more severe and are issued when drivers
- have prior convictions
- commit the offence while on bail
- drive recklessly in poor road and weather conditions
- are driving a large vehicle, towing a caravan or trailer, or carrying passengers or a heavy load
- are driving for hire
The penalties for these offences can be much higher and require a court appearance.
What happens if I get caught speeding?
If you are caught speeding on camera you will receive a letter in the mail within 14 days of the offence. This will be a Notice of Impending Prosecution (NIP) used to identify the driver of the car. You will have 28 days to return the Section 172 notice with the driver’s details.
Once your details have been established, you will either receive a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) with the penalty for speeding clearly indicated, or you will receive a letter telling you to go to court.
If you receive an FPN, then you can choose to either accept the charge and pay the fine, or you can choose to plead your innocence. If you believe you are innocent you will either need to write a letter to your local authorities or appear at a court hearing, depending on your local area’s regulations. But be aware that if you refuse the FPN and choose to go to court, then the court may issue a higher penalty than originally offered. You should always consult a Motor Defence Lawyer if you plan to refuse an FPN as they will be able to advise you on what you need to do and how to go about collecting evidence that you might need.
If you have not been convicted of a speeding offence in the last three years and were driving within band A then you might be invited to attend a Speed Awareness Course, you will still need to pay your fine as well as the course fees, and you may need to take a day off work, but you will not receive points on your licence.
If you receive a court summons, then you should immediately contact a Motor Defence Lawyer who will be able to assist you with how to proceed. The letter you receive will outline what you need to do, but an experienced defence attorney will be able to help you get the best possible outcome.