New speeding fines – what has changed?
by Fiona Taylor
There has been a lot of scare mongering recently about the new speeding fines. But do you know what has actually changed? Or how this affects you?
On the 24th April 2017 the penalty structure for motorists caught speeding in the UK changed. But how does these new speeding fines affect you, if at all?
The guidelines, which are issued by the Sentencing Council to magistrates in England and Wales, mean that the most serious offenders can now be fined up to 150% of their weekly income. This higher penalty shows that the Council are recognising what they believe to be “a level of danger and disregard for the law” shown by these speeding drivers.
How do these changes affect you?
In the huge majority of cases these new speeding fines will have no affect on you at all. Drivers caught committing minor speeding offences will still be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100 and 3 points on their licence. This, of course, is based on the discretion of the local police constabulary.
The changes will only apply to those drivers who go to court. A court appearance can either be because the driver has chosen not to accept the fixed penalty that was issued, or because the offence was more serious. However, even in these circumstances it is only the most extreme cases that will be affected.
How do you classify an extreme case?
Up until the recent changes the magistrates have had 2 bands that they have used to classify drivers who have been speeding. Band A used for minor offences, and Band B for those drivers who were caught significantly over the limit.
Fines were set at 50% or 100% of the drivers gross weekly wage respectively. But fines were capped at £2,500 for motorway offences, and £1000 for offences on all other roads. Both of these bands still exist, and the fine levels and caps have not altered in any way.
The change that has been made is to introduce a third tier, known as Band C. This will be applied to drivers at the top end of Band B.
Any drivers convicted in this band can face a fine of 150% of their weekly gross wage. They may also get 6 points or be disqualified from driving for up to 56 days. The fines are capped, as they were before, but drivers will need to be earning a gross salary of £46.5k or £145k for motorway offences before these caps are triggered.
How are the new bandings split?
Our table below shows how the bandings are split now;
|Speed Limit||Recorded speed|
|20 mph||21-30 mph||31-40 mph||41 mph and above|
|30 mph||31-40 mph||41-50 mph||51 mph and above|
|40 mph||41-55 mph||56-65 mph||66 mph and above|
|50 mph||51-65 mph||66-75 mph||76 mph and above|
|60 mph||61-80 mph||81-90 mph||91 mph and above|
|70 mph||71-90 mph||91-100 mph||101 mph and above|
|Sentencing range||Band A||Band B||Band C|
|Points / disqualification||3 points||4-6 points or|
|6 points or|
What alternatives are available?
Speed awareness courses are still available for minor offences in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These are usually offered to drivers who are caught in Band A offences. However, individual police forces make the final decision on who is offered a place on one of these courses.
Drivers are still only allowed to take 1 speed awareness course every 3 years, if caught more often than that then they will be subject to the fixed penalty.
If the drivers do end up in court then there are a number of factors that the magistrates can take into account to reduce or increase the penalty that they give, these factors include previous convictions and the drivers good character.
What do you think about the new speeding fines? Do you think that they will stop drivers speeding? Have you taken a speed awareness course instead of points? Get in touch in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.