Ever been happily zooming along only to see a flash in your rearview mirror? Most of us have been there at one time or another. Being caught speeding is no fun and can be dangerous. As it happens, it is also becoming pretty costly. In this article, we explain speeding penalties and the costs involved.
Fixed penalty notices used to be the ‘standard’ when it came to speeding. Essentially if caught or ‘flashed’, you could expect a letter in the post. This would contain the following information:
The notice of intended prosecution will give you details of the offence along with the speed you were travelling (and, depending on the constabulary, it might even include a nice picture of you breaking the speed limit).
The section 172 notice is a mandatory requirement for you to give information about who was driving the vehicle. You must return this to the authorities within 28 days.
You then have two options…
You will likely be issued a fixed penalty notice. This will come with a mandatory fine of £100 and three penalty points on your licence.
It is worth noting that the severity of the offence will dictate whether you are issued a fixed penalty notice or have to attend court. Minor infractions rarely result in court dates. And it is generally considered best practice to ‘take the hit’ with a fixed penalty notice (provided you were speeding, of course).
If you plead not guilty, you will have to attend court. While this will allow you to explain the circumstances of your offence, it might not be the best option, especially if you were speeding.
It is worth noting that it doesn’t matter whether you intended to speed or not. While you will be permitted to plead your case, which may result in some leniency, even the police must justify why they break the speed limit.
It is worth noting that if you attend a court hearing, you may be liable to pay more and face being awarded a greater number of points on your licence. This is normally calculated as a percentage of your income, along with the severity of the offence.
And here’s a warning…
It can get pretty expensive, really quickly.
When we say ‘speeding bands’, we aren’t talking about that time when the Beatles were late to their Abbey Road recording session…
As of 2017, the UK courts are permitted to fine you a percentage of your weekly income based on ‘how much over’ you were speeding.
It kind of makes sense when you think about it. The worse the offence, the worse the punishment. Furthermore, it ensures that those with high incomes, like professional footballers, aren’t tempted to speed because they can easily afford the fine.
Speeding fines are categorized into three bands: -
This band is applied when you are caught doing up to 9 mph above the legal limit. Most speeding offences fall into this category.
You will more than likely be given a fixed penalty notice and ‘awarded’ three points on your driving licence. If this is the first offence, you will often find that you are offered the option of a speed awareness course, where you can avoid prosecution and spend the day being ‘educated’ on the rules of the road.
Band B offences are a little more serious. This is where you are observed to be exceeding the speed limit between 10-20 mph. An example of this would be doing 60 mph in a 40 mph zone.
This normally comes with a fine of 100% of your weekly income. It will probably involve a court appearance and mean you gain 4 penalty points added to your licence. You could also expect to be disqualified from driving for 28 days!
Band C is reserved for the most severe cases. This is where the driver exceeds the speed limit by greater than 20 mph. So doing 71 mph in a 50 mph zone is a big no-no.
In most cases, you could expect to be fined 150% of your weekly income and face 6 penalty points on your licence!
If you earn £1000 a week (lucky you), you can expect to pay £1500… not exactly pocket change.
And it doesn’t end there.
A driving ban of 56 days could also be enforced.
Want to avoid speeding fines, fixed penalties, court dates and driving bans? Here’s how to do it. Avoid speeding! While the above is fairly prescriptive, other factors might be taken into account. Doing 45-mph on a country road might not be so bad. Doing 45-mph in a 20-mph school zone is going to get you in deep trouble.
While we are talking about speeding, are you aware of your stopping distances? Having a new set of tyres might make it easier to slow down when you spot a camera. Check out some of our amazing tyre deals here.
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