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UK speeding fines - what the changes mean for drivers

Lee Stern
1 Apr 2018

Speeding fines were increased in spring 2017, with harsher penalties for the worst offenders

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Intent on reducing the UK’s road toll, the laws surrounding our speeding laws have undergone a transformation, specifically targeting the worst offenders. Rather than just being an effort to further demonise of speed, the bulk of the changes centre on harsher financial penalties for reckless speeding, rather than smaller offences.

Being established in the last week of April this year, offenders caught at excessive speeds are now liable to being fined up to 150 per cent of their weekly income, a rise of 50 percent. These new laws will be reserved for excessive speeding, falling under the ‘Band C’ category.

The annual takings from the 100,000 plus speeding offences prosecuted in the UK each year tops up the HM Treasury coffers with millions of pounds, in the process taking the most deviant and dangerous drivers off the public roads.

The sterner reprimands came shortly after the doubling of fines and points for mobile phone usage behind the wheel. The fine now amounts to £200 and a substantial six points being marked on your licence.

Speeding fines have increased too, but not in the same two-fold manner. The previous fine ceilings for breaking the speed limit was £1000, or £2500 if caught on a motorway. That £2500 cap stays, but law enforcement have been informed to hand out a greater number of the maximum level fines. Details of the various speeding bands are displayed in the table below. 

Speed Limit (mph)

Recorded speed (mph)

Band C

Band B

Band A

20

41 and above

31 - 41

21 - 30

30

51 and above

41 - 50

31 - 40

40

66 and above

56 - 65

41 - 55

50

76 and above

66 - 75

51 - 65

60

91 and above

81 - 90

61- 80

70

101 and above

91 - 100

71 - 90

Points/disqualification

Disqualify 7 to 56 days or 6 points

Disqualify 7 to 28 days or  4 to 6 points

3 points

Under the old speeding fines system, fines falling under B and C jurisdiction equaled 100 per cent of offender’s weekly income. However the changes have increased this to 150 per cent. Offenders could be subject to the double whammy and banned from driving for up to 56 days or get six points on their licence.

The current minimum fine of £100 and three points remains according to . What’s more, law abiding citizens with a clean licence may still be able to circumvent the points hit by attending a speed awareness course. Previous speeders will not be extended such opportunities, seeing their points total climb further.

It's understood the majority of Band A fines will equate to a half of your weekly wage. However, this initial fine could be adjusted subject to the court's discretion based on the specifics of the case in question. Such variables include, poor weather, the population density of the area or the timing of an offence in relation to previous convictions committed (if applicable).

The same adjustment can be made to Band B and C fines too. Look below to see the window of adjustments rates.

Starting point

Range

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

What could a speeding ticket cost you?

The average speeding fine in 2015 was £188 with over 150,000 falling prey to speed cameras and traffic patrol units. With fines rising by 50 per cent the average fine could increase to £282. Although the £100 minimum, which is likely to be the most frequent fine, may reduce that average.

Using the UK’s average salary as a reference we will go through a few eventualities to explain the increased fines. According to the Office of National Statistics, the average salary as of April 2015 stood at £27,600. Read below to find out what you could pay if you earn the average UK wage.

Band A offence example

  • If you were caught travelling at a recorded speed of 36mph in a 30mph zone you would be prosecuted under Band A rulings.
  • Three points will go on your licence.
  • The initial fine would be £265.38, 50 per cent of your weekly wage.
  • Depending on the circumstances the final figure could range between: £132.69 (25 per cent of your weekly wage) and £398.08 (75 per cent of your weekly wage).

Fine value

Per cent of weekly earning

Starting point fine

£265.38

50

Maximum fine

£398.08

75

Minimum fine

£132.69

25

Band B offence example

69mph in a 50mph zone:

Fine value

Per cent of weekly earning

Starting point fine

£530.77

100

Maximum fine

£663.46

125

Minimum fine

£398.08

75

Band C offence example

105mph in a 70mph zone:

Fine value

Per cent of weekly earning

Starting point fine

£796.15

150

Maximum fine

£928.85

175

Minimum fine

£663.46

125

Mitigating factors

The sentencing council quote a number factors that can increase or decrease the severity of your sentence should you end up facing a judge. Here below we list the factors that could work in your favour or land you with more points or longer a period of disqualification.

Factors reducing seriousness or reflecting personal mitigation

  • Genuine emergency established
  • No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
  • Good character and/or exemplary conduct

Factors increasing seriousness

  • Previous convictions, having regard to a) the nature of the offence to which the conviction relates and its relevance to the current offence; and b) the time that has elapsed since the conviction
  • Offence committed whilst on bail
  • Towing caravan/trailer
  • Carrying passengers or heavy load
  • Driving for hire or reward
  • Poor road or weather conditions
  • Driving LGV, HGV, PSV etc.
  • Offence committed on licence or post sentence supervision
  • Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving over and above speed
  • Location e.g. near school
  • High level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity

Further still, should you acknowledge your driving infraction and plead guilty to the offence, the court may reduce your sentence, taking into account all other circumstances.  

 

 

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