Although you’re breaking the law as soon as you edge over the stated speed limit for the road you’re driving on, you have a bit of wiggle room. Almost all police forces give drivers a 10% allowance as well as an extra 2 miles per hour to take speedometer or camera errors into account.
This is generous, but it’s not just to help the UK’s drivers as it also prevents the police from becoming bogged down with generally careful drivers who have just nudged a fraction over the limit.
Despite these helpful allowances, however, there are always some drivers who go over and are then prosecuted. These drivers face several potential outcomes, from penalty points to disqualification.
The fines for speeding
You could be offered a £100 fine and three points on your licence by the police (Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty). However, if your speed was significantly over the limit, or you’re a repeat offender, then you could be issued a Court summons. If convicted in the Magistrates’ Court you could be fined up to £1,000 and for motorway offences up to £2,500, depending on your income. If you were not stopped at the time of the offence, the police must send a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to the registered keeper within 14 days of the alleged offence.
What about the points?
Generally, you’ll receive three to six points, based on your speed at the time, your previous record and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances. If you feel you’re not being treated fairly, then engaging legal help, like motoringoffencelawyers.com is always a good idea.
Is there any way to avoid points?
A speed awareness course as an alternative to points is generally offered for low level speeding offences providing that the driver has not attended one in the three years preceding the date of the alleged offence.
If you decide not to accept the offer of a fixed penalty or are not offered one due to the speed alleged then the case will proceed to Court. Following this there may be issues in relation to the presentation of the case by the police that can result in a case being dismissed – for more details visit http://www.motoringoffencelawyers.com/speeding-defence/.
I’m worried about being banned
If the speeding offence could result in you reaching 12 points on your licence a summons will be issued and the Court may be considering disqualification. If you plead guilty or are found guilty following trial, the Magistrates will normally disqualify the driver unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as loss of job which will have a severe impact on innocent parties, for example dependant relatives.
Discretionary disqualifications may also be imposed but tend to be reserved for higher level speeding offences. For example, speeds of over 60mph in a 30mph normally result in disqualification instead of penalty police as do speeds of over 110mph in a 70mph.
What fine am I likely to get?
If you’re refused a speed awareness course then you may be offered a fixed penalty which you may or may not accept. You don’t have to go to court for this and the fine is the same regardless of your income and the circumstances of your offence. Sometimes, it’s better to simply accept the fixed penalty rather than risk paying a higher fine and more points but before doing so it’s always worthwhile taking legal advice.
I’ve been summonsed to court
The police have six months to start proceedings at which point it is crucial that legal advice is obtained before taking the next step.
How long do I keep my points?
Penalty points stay on your driving licence for three years from the date of your offence for totting up purposes. They are removed from the DVLA record after four years but need to be declared to insurers for 5 years.