Kangs Solicitors Specialist Motoring Department has many years’ experience representing clients charged with speeding offences, by challenging the allegation or mitigating to ensure the penalty imposed is kept to the minimum level possible.
The Procedure and the Law
Should you be caught exceeding the speed limit you are committing an offence for which you may be prosecuted.
The Association of Police Officers has however, issued guidance to police forces regarding the exercise of a tolerance level.
Enforcement proceedings will not normally be taken where the recorded speed does not exceed the speed limit by more than 10% plus a further 2 miles per hour.
For example in a 40mph zone a prosecution is unlikely where your recorded speed is less than 46mph.
Speed Awareness Course (‘a course’)
Should your recorded speed be in excess of the tolerance threshold explained above, you may be offered the opportunity to attend a course.
One criterion for eligibility for a course is that your recorded speed did not exceed the speed limit by more than 10% plus 9mph.
For example, in a 40mph zone you could be eligible for a course up to a speed of 53mph.
A course normally takes the form of a classroom session lasting half a day and for which you will have to pay between £80 and £120.00.
Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)
If you are not eligible for a course, the police also have the discretion to offer a FPN, which normally also includes an endorsement of 3 penalty points on your licence and a £100 fine.
You do not have to accept a FPN and you can request a Court hearing, should you so elect if, for example, you do not accept you have committed the offence.
However, it is important to note that if the court does not accept your argument and decides to impose a penalty, it will normally be more severe than the consequences of accepting a FPN.
If Court proceedings are instigated, Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 provides that in order for a person to be convicted of an offence of speeding:
- The person must have been warned at the time of the offence about the possibility of prosecution;
- The registered keeper must have been sent a notice within 14 days of the offence notifying them of the possibility of prosecution, or
- The person must have been served a court summons within 14 days of the offence.
Possible defences to the charge include:
- Factual – you were not speeding;
- Signage – the speed limit was not identifiable;
- Speed detection devices – which may not have been approved or operating correctly
- the notice of intended prosecution has not been served correctly
From the 24th April 2017 new guidelines have come into force in relation to speeding offences which significantly increases the level of fines the Court can impose.
If you have pleaded guilty or been found guilty after trial at Court, the maximum sentence for speeding is a fine up to as much as 175 % of your weekly income. However there is still a maximum fine of £1,000 or £2,500, if on a motorway.
You can also be punished by way of the incurrence of between 3 and 6 penalty points or disqualification from driving.
The Magistrates will be guided by the new Sentencing Guidelines which set out both the fine and number of penalty points as outlined below:
|Speed limit (mph)||Recorded speed (mph)|
|20||41 and above||31 – 40||21 – 30|
|30||51 and above||41 – 50||31 – 40|
|40||66 and above||56 – 65||41 – 55|
|50||76 and above||66 – 75||51 – 65|
|60||91 and above||81 – 90||61 – 80|
|70||101 and above||91 – 100||71 – 90|
|Sentencing range||Band C fine||Band B fine||Band A fine|
|Points/disqualification||Disqualify 7 – 56 days OR 6 points||Disqualify 7 – 28|
days OR 4 – 6 points
The fines imposed by the Court are now determined in the following categories:
- Band A 50 % of weekly income
- Band B 100 % of weekly income
- Band C 150 % of weekly income
In all cases, the Magistrates have discretion not to endorse penalty points for the offence if they are satisfied there were special reasons for it being committed e.g it was an emergency.
Should you require any advice on any of the issues relating to a speeding offence then please contact our specialist motoring team through either of the following solicitors: