A great deal of mystery and scepticism surrounds speeding fines. How far over the limit warrants getting a ticket? How many points will you get on your licence? Is it possible to argue your way out of a ticket?
These are questions we’ve all asked ourselves in the past and each person you ask will probably come back with a different answer.
However, everything we knew about speeding fines was thrown into the air recently when a revised and tougher approach to speeding took effect on April 24th.
Four in five motorists didn’t even know about the harsher fines, according to a survey by Honest John, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to explain all you need to know post-fine hike.
Those changes in April mean the minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your licence. Collect 12 or more points within a three-year period and you could be disqualified from driving altogether.
Note how we say ‘minimum’. Due to the varying degree of speeding, fines are split between three bands – A to C – with the financial hit increasing according to the severity of the offence.
We’ll use a 30mph zone for our example case. Anyone caught driving at 31-40mph counts as band A. Band B is 41-50mph, while band C is 51mph and above.
Previously, band C offenders could expect to be hit for a full week’s earnings. However, that has increased to a fine equating to 150 per cent of their weekly income.
Here’s how the bands break down:
|Speed limit (mph)||Band A||Band B||Band C|
|20||21-30mph||31-41mph||41mph and above|
|30||31-40mph||41-50mph||51mph and above|
|40||41-55mph||56-65mph||66mph and above|
|50||51-65mph||66-75mph||76mph and above|
|60||61-80mph||81-90mph||91mph and above|
|70||71-90mph||91-100mph||101mph and above|
|Points / disqualification||3 points||4-6 points or 7-27 day driving ban||6 points or 7-56 day driving ban|
And this is how those bands reflect the severity of the fine:
|Fine band A||50% of weekly income||25-75% of weekly income|
|Fine band B||100% of weekly income||75-125% of weekly income|
|Fine band C||150% of weekly income||125-175% of weekly income|
General law abiding citizens with a clean licence may still be able to avoid the points by attending a speed awareness course like before.
New drivers should be even more wary though. For those still within two years of passing their driving test, their driving licence will be revoked if they build up six or more penalty points.
Any points – or ‘endorsements’ as they’re also called – will stay on your driving licence for a minimum of four years and up to 11 years, depending on the offence.
As it stands, the maximum fine for breaking the speed limit is £1,000, or £2,500 on a motorway, and those caps haven’t changed. Instead, it is hoped that those tempted to do 42mph in a 30mph zone will think again.
How fast is too fast?
Technically speaking, any driver travelling 1mph above the speed limit is liable to a speeding ticket, but most people would agree that getting hit with a £100 fine for driving at 31mph in a 30mph zone is insanely harsh.
Drivers would have to be watching their speedometers like hawks and even then, speedos aren’t always accurate, requiring recalibration over time.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) advises police forces adopt a ‘ten per cent plus 2mph’ approach before issuing a ticket and a 75 per cent mark-up before prosecuting through the courts.
This means in a 20mph zone, a motorist would have to be driving at 24mph before they received a ticket, or 35mph before the prospect of facing a judge.
Similarly, a 70mph zone – i.e. most motorways – would be 79mph for a ticket and 96mph to warrant prosecution.
Note that this is just advice and individual officers and forces will make their own mind up whether they want to take action.
What’s your opinion of this revised approach to speeding fines? Let us know down there in the comments.