Guest Article by Jasmine Garton.
The maximum fine for speeding has long been £1,000 (unless on the motorway, in which case the fine could be up to £2,500) alongside the possibility of penalty points or a disqualification.
However, with the introduction of changes to the operation of speeding fines under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.89(1), the maximum amount you can be fined has now increased as of the 24th April 2017.
Of course, the best piece of advice that can be given is to simply remain safe and under the speed limit at all times to avoid any unwanted penalties being incurred.
If one is to abide by the strict rule of the law, then the second you surpass the designated speed limit, you are liable for a speeding ticket. In reality, it is unlikely that you will be brought up for speeding if for example you are doing 21mph in a 20mph zone, due to practicality (faulty speedometers, etc.)
It is worth noting however, that this could occur and so acknowledging the recent legislative changes now is in your best interests.
Outline of the recent changes
As of the 24th April, three main bands of speeding fines exist; namely Band A, Band B and Band C, from the lowest penalty to the highest, respectively. The band which an offender falls within is reflective of their culpability (blameworthiness) and the level of seriousness of the offence. The following are examples of speeding which fall into each band:
• Band A – Driving between 21 to 30mph in a 20mph zone, 31 to 40mph in a 40mph zone and 71 to 90mph in a 70mph zone
• Band B – Driving between 31 to 40mph in 20 mph zone, 56 to 65mph in 40 mph zone and up to 100mph in 70 mph zone
• Band C – Driving 41mph and above in 20 mph zone, 51 and above in 30 mph and above 100 in 70 mph zone
What this means for motorists
Once the band has been determined, the imposition of a fine is then correlative to the relevant weekly income of the offender.
Each band has a starting point, applicable to all motorists, which go up in 50% increments between the respective bands:
• A fine of 50% of your weekly income could be expected under Band A, as well as 3 points on your licence
• A fine of 100% of your weekly income could be expected under Band B, as well as 4-6 points on your licence or disqualification for 7-28 days
• A fine of 150% of your weekly income could be expected under Band C, as well as 6 points on your licence or disqualification for 7-56 days
It is worth mentioning that although these Bands highlight the changes that will be relevant to most motorists, there is also Bands D, E and F which are applicable if an offender is grossly in excess of the speed limit. The same level of increase as highlighted above applies to Bands D-F and disqualification could be in excess of 56 days.
Fine bands D-F may be applicable where the community or custodial threshold has been passed, but in the circumstances of the case it is more appropriate to order a fine, the latter being sufficient in satisfying the aims of sentencing.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
Although these starting points within each Band exist, there is a 25% margin of appreciation either way upon reflection of any mitigating (justifying) or aggravating (worsening) factors that can be proven. A non-exhaustive list of these factors is mentioned in the guidelines to the revised Regulation.
For instance, aggravating factors may include location (e.g. If near school or high level of pedestrians in vicinity), carrying passengers or a heavy load, or poor road or weather conditions.
On the other hand, examples of mitigating factors could be good character of the offender, if a genuine emergency is established, or if the motorist is a first time offender.
Why we do what we do
At Ashworth motoring law we are dedicated to keeping drivers on the road. We believe that no driver’s licence should be placed in jeopardy due to a lack of legal or technical knowledge. That’s why we’re always striving to deliver relevant, current content to keep you up to date with issues that could affect your freedom to drive.
We know the devastating impact that a disqualification from driving could have on a person’s life, career and family. It’s from that understanding that we fight to save the driving licences of motorists throughout the Country, to ensure that no person is disqualified where a valid defence or judicial discretion is available.
If you have been accused of committing a motoring offence and would like to discuss your case in confidence with a specialist motoring law solicitor call 0330 33 22 770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our expert solicitors will listen to the details of your case and let you know instantly if your licence could be saved.