Speeding fine changes: what’s changing?
The law changed on 24th April- so what do the new rules say?
In 2015 over 800,000 speeding tickets were issued in the UK, a number that continues to rise year on year. Now the government has issues new guidelines to magistrates on the levels fines should be set at- unsurprisingly, they’re increasing. You can now be charged up to 175% of your weekly income, an increase of 25% depending on the nature of the speeding offence. While means-tested fines have been in place since the early 2000s, they have always faced criticism that the guidelines recommend lower fines than previously.
How fines are calculated
If you’re snapped going over the limit, or clocked by a patrol car, you’ll be sent either a court summons, Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or, if it’s your first offence, the chance to attend a speed awareness course. You can appeal an FPN in court (though this risks a more severe penalty if your appeal is rejected in court), or attend a course, however a fine, if issued, will fall into one of three bands according to the severity of the offence:
This is the lowest of the fine categories. In theory doing between 1mph and 10mph over the limit would fall into this bracket- and can carry a fine of up to 75% of your weekly income as well as 3 points on your licence.
Intermediary offences, going up to 20mph over the limit. These can lead to disqualification for up to a month, 4-6 points and a fine of up to 100% of your weekly wage.
The most serious category of speeding fine. This band can carry up to 56 days disqualification with police chiefs recommending longer bans if thought appropriate. 6 points and a fine of 175% of monthly income.
The number of points before permanent license removal remains at 12 within 3 years, however for less experienced drivers (those with under 2 years since passing) your licence can be taken away after 6 points.
Considering the increasing number of tickets being issued the change in guidelines for fines will no doubt be suggested by some to be a money making scheme, however proponents of the changes, announced in January, point to falling accident rates and road fatalities as evidence for the benefits of a harsher system.
Many drivers try and avoid telling their insurance companies about any speeding fines- something that could lead to insurance being invalidated if it’s renewed before letting them know. Unfortunately ‘forgetting’ to disclose the fine or points can lead to serious problems, even while side-stepping a hike in premiums.
In addition to the changes in the UK system, in May 2017 EU legislation comes into force on the continent meaning it may no longer be possible to escape speeding ticket picked up abroad- though the same doesn’t apply to EU drivers caught in the UK. Of course the exit for the EU will change a lot of the rules on fines imposed while driving abroad, and will be one of the many the open questions faced by UK drivers in the future.