Speeding Fines

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Realising you’ve been caught speeding can be a daunting experience. The moment you notice the flash in your rear-view mirror, a period of anxious anticipation begins as you await the consequences.

This guide provides a thorough overview of what you might expect if found speeding fines, including the potential fines and penalties involved.

What Happens When You’re Caught Speeding?

Being Caught by a Speed Camera

When you’re caught speeding by a camera, you will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 days. This will be accompanied by a Section 172 notice.

What Happens When You’re Caught Speeding

You must complete and return the Section 172 notice within 28 days, identifying the person driving the vehicle at the time of the offence. Failing to provide this information can lead to a court summons.

Being Caught by a Police Officer

If a police officer catches you speeding, there are three possible outcomes. For a minor offence, the officer might issue a verbal warning and let you off without any formal action.

Alternatively, the officer may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) directly or send it by post. Upon receiving an FPN, you have the option to either plead guilty or not guilty. This is the same process as when caught by a camera.

Being Caught By A Police Officer

In the case of a serious offence, the police officer may instruct you to appear in court. You will receive a letter with details and instructions for this procedure.

After Receiving a Section 172 Notice

Once you’ve returned the Section 172 notice, the next steps depend on the nature of your offence. You might receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), outlining the fine you are facing.

At this point, you can choose to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you will need to attend a court hearing, where, if found guilty, you might face a harsher penalty.

Alternatively, you may be instructed to attend court directly. This usually happens in more severe cases or if there are complicating factors in your situation. The letter you receive will provide details about the court process and what is expected of you.

Key Points to Remember

  • Timelines are important: Respond to notices within the specified time limits to avoid further legal complications.
  • Options after receiving an FPN: You have the right to plead guilty or not guilty, but consider the potential consequences of each choice.
  • Severity of the offence matters: The nature of your speeding offence can significantly influence the legal process and potential penalties.

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How Much is a Speeding Fine?

Basic Speeding Fine Structure

The cost of a speeding fine in the UK is variable, primarily depending on how significantly you exceed the speed limit. The minimum penalty for speeding is typically £100 along with three penalty points on your driving licence.

How Much Is A Speeding Fine

Categories of Speeding Offences

Speeding offences are categorised into bands A, B, and C, which are determined by the extent to which you were driving over the speed limit.

  • Band A: This is for offences where the speed was marginally above the legal limit. Fines in this category generally start at around 50% of your weekly income.
  • Band B: For more serious speeding, where the speed was significantly over the limit. Fines can range from 75% to 125% of your weekly income, and may also include points on your licence or a temporary driving ban.
  • Band C: This category is for the most serious speeding offences, where the speed greatly exceeded the limit. Fines can reach 125-175% of your weekly income, and a driving ban is more likely.

Speed Limit (MPH)

Recorded speed (mph)

Band A

Band B

Band C

20

21-30

31-41

41 and above

30

31-40

41-50

51 and above

40

41-55

56-65

66 and above

50

51-65

66-75

76 and above

60

61-80

81-90

91 and above

70

71-90

91-100

101 and above

Points/fine

  • Three points

  • 25-75% of weekly income

  • 4-6 points or
    7-28 days disqualified

  • 75-125% of weekly income

  • Six points or
    7-56 days disqualified

  • 125-175% of weekly income

Speed Awareness Course Option

In some cases, instead of receiving points, you may be offered the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course. This course, typically costing around £90, is an alternative to receiving points on your licence.

However, it’s important to note that this option is not always available, especially if you’ve been convicted of speeding in the past three years.

Higher Bands for Severe Offences

For particularly severe speeding offences, there are higher bands – D, E, and F. These may apply in situations involving additional risk factors, such as speeding in a heavy goods vehicle, towing, driving near schools, or carrying passengers or heavy loads.

  • Band D: Fines for these offences start at 200-300% of your weekly income.
  • Band E: For even more severe offences, fines range from 300-500% of your weekly income.
  • Band F: The most serious category, where fines can be 500-700% of your weekly income.

Key Takeaway

  • Fines vary with severity: The more you exceed the speed limit, the higher the potential fine.
  • Alternative to points: A speed awareness course might be offered in lieu of points, subject to certain conditions.
  • Severe offences carry heavier penalties: In extreme cases, fines are a significant percentage of your weekly income, reflecting the gravity of the offence.

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How Long Does it Take to Get a Speeding Fine?

Immediate Outcome with a Police Officer

If you are stopped by a police officer for speeding, you will be informed immediately whether you will receive a warning or if further action will be taken. This immediate notification provides clarity on the spot.

Speed Camera Offences and the 14-Day Rule

When caught by a speed camera, the process is slightly different. You should expect to receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) or any relevant correspondence through the post within 14 days of the offence.

Understanding the Flexibility of the 14-Day Rule

While the ’14-day rule’ is a guideline under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1998, it is not absolute.

The law requires that the NIP should be sent out within 14 days, and it is expected under normal postal conditions that it would reach the recipient within this timeframe.

However, there are exceptions where the 14-day rule may not strictly apply. These include:

  • Postal Delays: Issues like postal strikes or general postal delays are not considered valid reasons for dismissing a speeding penalty.
  • Change of Address: If you have recently moved and the NIP is delayed because of this, the 14-day rule may not protect you from a penalty.
  • Third-Party Delays: In cases where the speeding vehicle is a hire car or a company vehicle, the time taken for the hire company or employer to forward the letter to you does not extend the 14-day limit.
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Key Points to Remember

  • Immediate notification by police: If stopped by an officer, you’ll know straight away about any action being taken.
  • 14-day timeline for speed cameras: Expect a NIP within 14 days if caught by a camera, but be aware of certain factors that might affect this.
  • Exceptions to the rule: Understand that delays due to postal issues, changes in address, or third-party handling do not typically exempt you from penalties.

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How to Pay a Speeding Fine

Paying a Speeding Fine in England and Wales

In England and Wales, the process for paying a speeding fine is straightforward and primarily conducted online. To do so, you need to visit the gov.uk website. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

How To Pay A Speeding Fine

  1. Access the Payment Portal: Navigate to the specific section for paying fines on the gov.uk website.
  2. Have Your FPN Ready: Ensure you have your Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) at hand, as you will need details from it to complete the payment.
  3. Follow the Instructions: The website will guide you through the payment process, including entering your FPN details and payment information.

Paying a Speeding Fine in Scotland

The procedure in Scotland offers a bit more flexibility, catering to those who prefer not to use online services.

  1. Online Payment: Similar to England and Wales, you can pay your fine online via the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website. The process involves entering details from your FPN and following the given instructions.
  2. Payment by Phone: For those who prefer a more personal touch or are not comfortable with online transactions, there is an option to pay the fine over the phone. You can find the necessary contact numbers on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website.
  3. Paying by Post: If you choose to pay by post, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website provides detailed instructions, including the address to send your payment to and the accepted forms of payment (like cheques or postal orders).

Additional Information

  • Timeliness is Key: It’s important to pay your fine within the time limit specified in your FPN to avoid additional penalties.
  • Payment Confirmation: After making a payment, especially online or by phone, ensure you receive a confirmation for your records.
  • Seeking Help: If you encounter difficulties or have questions about your fine or the payment process, both websites provide contact details for assistance.

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Can I Contest a Speeding Fine?

Understanding the Appeal Process

To appeal a speeding ticket, you must complete the relevant section on your Notice of Intended Prosecution. Before initiating an appeal, it’s critical to assess if you have a strong case.

Can I Contest A Speeding Fine

If your appeal is rejected by the police, the matter will proceed to court. Be aware that contesting a speeding ticket in court and losing may result in a more severe penalty than the initial one.

Acceptable Grounds for Dispute

  • Unclear or Missing Road Signs: If road signs were not visible or absent, you should provide photographic evidence to support your claim.
  • Wrongly Identified Driver: If you were not driving the vehicle, you need to inform the authorities about the actual driver.
  • Disputing Speed Accuracy: If you are certain that you were not exceeding the speed limit, be prepared to prove this in court. You can also request the calibration certificate of the speed camera involved.

Unacceptable Grounds for Dispute

  • Lack of Awareness of Speed Limit: Claiming unawareness of the speed limit is not considered a valid reason for dispute.
  • Emergencies or Being in a Rush: Justifications such as being in an emergency or hurry are not acceptable.
  • Time of Day or Traffic Conditions: Arguments based on it being late at night or the roads being quiet are not regarded as valid excuses.

Additional Considerations

When considering an appeal, it’s also important to understand the potential costs and time involved in a court case. Legal advice may be beneficial in assessing the merits of your case.

Furthermore, if you believe the speed camera was faulty, gathering evidence on its maintenance and operation can be crucial in your appeal.

Remember, each case is unique and should be approached with careful consideration of the specific circumstances and evidence at hand.

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What Happens if I’m Summoned to Court?

The Basis for Court Summons

Being summoned to court typically occurs if the case is considered serious, or if you choose to appeal a speeding ticket and the police reject your appeal.

A summons for a speeding offence needs to be issued in the Magistrates Court within six months of the alleged offence.

What Happens If I’m Summoned To Court

Preparing for Court

Solid Grounds for Dispute

Before deciding to take your case to court, ensure you have substantial grounds for disputing the ticket.

Valid reasons can include unclear road signs, being wrongly identified as the driver, or evidence proving you were not speeding, supported by concrete evidence like photographs.

Legal Advice

While a large legal team isn’t necessary, obtaining some legal advice prior to your court appearance is advisable. This can help you understand the nuances of your case and prepare adequately.

In Court: Defence and Mitigation

What Doesn’t Work

Magistrates are familiar with common excuses for speeding, such as not knowing the speed limit, quiet roads, or emergencies. These are generally ineffective as defences.

Mitigating Factors

If you admit to speeding, some factors might be considered for mitigation to potentially reduce your penalty.

It’s important to express remorse, acknowledge your mistake, and explain the reasons behind it. Illustrate the potential impact of accruing points on your licence, like the risk of losing your job.

Key Considerations

  • Honesty and Remorse: Being truthful and showing genuine remorse can be crucial in your court appearance.
  • Mitigating Circumstances: Clearly outlining any mitigating factors, such as the necessity to use a vehicle for work, can be influential.
  • Evidence: Providing solid evidence to support your claims or disputes is vital.
  • Legal Preparedness: Understanding the legal process and having professional advice can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

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What About Speeding Fines in the EU?

The Current Situation for UK Drivers in the EU

With the UK’s departure from the European Union, there have been significant changes regarding speeding fines for UK drivers in the EU.

What About Speeding Fines In The Eu

The UK is no longer a part of the Cross Border Enforcement directive, which previously enabled the sharing of information about speeding drivers across EU member states.

Roadside Fines and Enforcement

Roadside Fines

Drivers from the UK stopped by police in EU countries may still receive roadside fines. The enforcement of these fines depends on the laws of the individual EU country where the offence occurs.

Limitations in Tracking Speeding Offences

While the Cross Border Enforcement directive facilitated easier tracking and penalising of speeding offences across borders, its absence now means that EU countries may find it more challenging to pursue UK drivers caught by speed cameras within their territories.

Implications for UK Drivers

Speeding is Still an Offence

It’s important to note that speeding is still illegal and poses safety risks. The difficulty in enforcement for EU countries does not change the legal and ethical implications of speeding.

Potential Long-Term Consequences

UK drivers should be aware that even if enforcement is more challenging, there could be long-term implications, especially if they are frequent travellers to the EU. Unpaid fines or unresolved legal issues may lead to complications during future travels.

Key Points to Remember

  • Compliance with Local Laws: It is crucial for UK drivers to adhere to the speed limits and road laws of the EU country they are in.
  • Road Safety: Speeding laws are primarily for road safety, and compliance is important regardless of the likelihood of enforcement.
  • Future Complications: Unresolved speeding offences may have future repercussions for UK drivers travelling to the EU.

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Frequently asked questions

In the UK, there is no single national speed limit. The speed limit on motorways is 70mph, while on single-carriageway roads it is 60mph. However, if you’re towing a caravan or trailer, the speed limit may be lower.

For roads with streetlights, the speed limit is generally 30 miles per hour (48km/h) unless indicated otherwise by signs.

It’s important to note that local councils may lower speed limits on certain roads to promote safety for drivers and other road users. As a result, it’s crucial to not assume the speed limit for a road and always look out for signs indicating a reduced limit, which must be clearly displayed.

No, you cannot break the speed limit to overtake another vehicle. Rule 163 of the Highway Code states that ‘overtaking should only be done when it is safe and legal to do so‘.

This means that you should not exceed the speed limit of the road in order to overtake another vehicle.

No, you cannot speed while driving unless you’re driving an emergency vehicle. There are no exceptions for regular drivers.

There is no specific law against driving too slowly, but you could still face penalties. If the police deem that you are driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other drivers, they can pull you over and fine you.

This offence, known as careless driving, can result in a CD30 endorsement and three to nine points on your licence.

Additionally, some roads may have minimum speed limits. These are indicated by blue circular signs with a white font showing the speed limit. If you fail to maintain this speed, you could face penalties.

Minimum Speed Limit Signs

The end of a minimum speed limit is indicated by a similar sign with a red diagonal line through it.

Black box technology cannot physically prevent you from speeding. However, it can encourage drivers to drive more responsibly on the roads.

When you purchase a telematics car insurance policy, a black box is installed in your car to collect data about your driving habits and send it to your insurance provider.

If you consistently drive within the speed limits and demonstrate good driving skills, this information can help reduce the cost of your insurance.

Yes, it is important to inform your insurance provider if you receive a speeding ticket.

Most insurance companies require drivers to declare any motoring convictions they’ve received within the past five years. Failure to disclose this information when applying for insurance could invalidate your cover, which means any claim you make could be rejected.

If you are convicted of a driving offence after taking out insurance, it’s crucial to inform your provider about it.

If you have a speeding ticket and are looking to reduce your car insurance premiums, consider the following tips:

Here are more money-saving tips on how to save on car insurance.

Maybe, taking a speed awareness course may or may not impact your car insurance premiums, depending on your insurance provider’s perspective.

It is important to note that you will have to pay for the course, which typically costs around £100, similar to the cost of a fine. However, attending the course means that you will not receive penalty points on your driving license.

Some insurance providers may consider your attendance on a speed awareness course as an indication that you are more likely to be involved in a future accident. Others may see it as an opportunity for you to improve your driving skills and therefore less of an accident risk.

If you choose not to attend a speed awareness course and instead receive penalty points on your licence, your car insurance premium will likely increase. It is worth noting that not all drivers are offered the option to attend a speed awareness course.

If you’ve been caught speeding by a camera, the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) will typically arrive through the post within 14 days.

Following this, you have 28 days to complete and return the Section 172 Notice. After submitting the Section 172 Notice, you should receive your Fixed Penalty Notice within 14 days.

Alternatively, if a police officer catches you speeding, they may either issue a Fixed Penalty Notice immediately or choose to post it to your address. In the case of postal delivery, it should also take up to 14 days for the notice to arrive.

Typically, speeding fines are expected to be paid in full immediately. However, there are situations where the court may consider allowing payment through installments. It’s important to note that this isn’t guaranteed, so you shouldn’t rely on this option being available.

Points resulting from a speeding offence will remain on your licence for four years. However, these points are considered active for only the first three years.

During this active period, any additional points incurred will accumulate with the existing ones.

After they become inactive, they won’t contribute to your total points tally, but it’s worth noting that a judge might consider these past points if you’re involved in another driving offence.

You can be disqualified from driving for a speeding offence, depending on its severity. The disqualification period can be as long as 56 days. Additionally, if you accumulate more than 12 points on your licence, you risk losing it.

The money raised from speeding fines is deposited into the Consolidated Fund, commonly referred to as the Government’s current account. These funds are then utilised for general government expenditure.

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