The new rules are designed to make drivers “think twice” before putting the pedal to the metal – but what exactly has changed?
Drivers will pay more for speeding
Before today, a speeding motorist could expect to pay a minimum fine of £100 and receive three points on his or her licence. The maximum fine was £1,000, or £2,500 if you were caught on the motorway.
Drivers faced being fined 100% of their weekly salary up to £2,500, but it’s now going to get a lot more expensive.
Now if you are caught speeding and end up in court, drivers can face fines up to 175% of their weekly salary – depending on just how far over the limit you were.
So, what speeds are we talking about here?
Fines are split into three bands – A, B and C – which relate to the seriousness of the offence.
Drivers caught driving between 1mph and 10mph over the limit are in Band A and can be fined 25%-75% of their weekly wage.
Those going between 11mph and 21mph are in Band B and face a fine of between 75% to 125% of their weekly salary.
And those in Band C – caught driving 21mph and over the limit – could face a fine of between 125% and 175% of their wage.
The cap of £2,500 remains but new laws means a lot more speeding drivers could be hit with close the maximum.
Speed limit (mph)
Recorded speed (mph)
41 and above
31 – 40
21 – 30
51 and above
41 – 50
31 – 40
66 and above
56 – 65
41 – 55
76 and above
66 – 75
51 – 65
91 and above
81 – 90
61 – 80
101 and above
91 – 100
71 – 90
Disqualify 7 – 56 days OR 6 points
Disqualify 7 – 28
Must endorse and may disqualify. If no disqualification impose 3 – 6 points
Where an offender is driving grossly in excess of the speed limit the court should consider a disqualification in excess of 56 days. (Source: Sentencing Council)
When might these fines apply?
The examples given show these bigger fines would apply to those caught doing 41mph in a 20mph zone – typically in heavily populated areas – 51mph in a 30mph zone (most likely residential areas, in town centres etc) or 66mph on a 40mph stretch.
Break the 100mph barrier on the motorway and you are likely to be banned for 56 days.
Oh, and the worst offenders could also receive six points on their licence.
[graphiq id=”1r5rQHB6TkN” title=”Road Casualties in United Kingdom” width=”600″ height=”513″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/1r5rQHB6TkN” link=”https://www.graphiq.com” link_text=”Visualization by Graphiq” ]
What is behind this move?
According to breakdown group Green Flag, the number of speeding offences has risen 44% over the last five years. The RAC Foundation says the number of people prosecuted and convicted for motoring offences have both increased by 9% per cent over the last year, with the number of prosecutions rising from 591,000 in 2014 to 644,000 in 2015. Just over half of prosecutions for motoring offences in 2015 were for speed limit and vehicle insurance offences.
The Sentencing Council, which provides the guidelines for courts in England and Wales to deal with offenders, said it was “essential that the guidelines they use are up to date and help ensure that sentences are applied consistently and effectively”.
Motoring groups such as the AA and the RAC have welcomed the moves, saying they would target “extreme offenders”.
Is a fine or a ban inevitable?
Magistrates will still judge every case on the facts presented and can use their discretion. First-time offenders, for example, may not get an immediate bigger fine but be sent on a speed awareness course. Repeat offenders face the prospect of little leniency.
The more a driver is over the speed limit, and the more reckless his or her actions are, as determined by the court, the more likely they are to receive a tougher sentence.