The punishments for serious speeding offences are about to get much tougher. Here is everything you need to know, including what has changed and how much you can be fined.
The system used to fine motorists caught speeding is changing, thanks to a review of sentencing guidelines. To cut to the chase, the revisions are designed to make the punishments harsher – but just how harsh are we talking? We decided to go over the details with a fine-tooth comb.
New UK speeding laws: What is the current law?
Current law stipulates that the more serious speeding offences cost 100 per cent of the driver's weekly wage up to a maximum of £1,000 or £2,500 if caught on a motorway.
New UK speeding laws: So what has been changed?
Although the new law uses the same £1,000 and £2,500 limits as before, the driver will be fined up to 150 per cent of their weekly wage – an increase of 50 per cent.
New UK speeding laws: What is the average fine cost?
The average fine was £188, a figure that is likely to rise when the new laws kick in. 166,695 people in England and Wales were sentenced for speeding offences and 166,216 were given a fine, according to official figures.
New UK speeding laws: So how much can I be fined?
On a £25,000 salary you can expect a fine of at least £721, up from the current fine of at least £480. What that means is that poorer drivers will feel the pain of a fine most, as £1,000 to someone on £200,000 a year is more of an inconvenience than anything although the points gained are the bigger concern.
New UK speeding laws: Can a fine be decreased or increased?
The first part of a band C fine is only half the story. You see, a 'mitigating factor' such as speeding because of an emergency could see the weekly income level drop to 125 per cent, taking the total fine for someone on £25,000 to £600.
On the flip-side, you can also be subjected to an 'aggravating factor', which can see the speeding fine rise to 175 per cent of your weekly income (but still subjected to the aforementioned fine caps). Aggravating factors include speeding with a trailer or being a persistent offender.
In unique cases with unique circumstances, Magistrates can use their own discretion. This would, presumably, come into play if the punishment of a crime would result in 'exceptional hardship'.
New UK speeding laws: What about less serious offences?
Band A speeding offences kick in at the lower end. If caught doing 21-30mph in a 20mph zone, for example, or 31-40mph in 30mph zone. On a motorway it is 71-90mph. The associated fine costs 50 per cent of your weekly income and three points on your licence.
Band B offences kick in at 31-40mph in a 20mph zone and 41-50mph in a 30mph zone. As for motorways, 91-100mph is the threshold. 4-6 points will be added to your licence or you could be disqualified for 7 to 28 days.
A speed awareness course for first offenders may also be offered for minor offences. Feel free to check out our comprehensive guide to speeding tickets for more details.
New UK speeding laws: When does band C apply?
Band C kicks in when doing 41 and above in a 20mph, 51 and above in a 30mph and 101mph and above on a motorway, to name some of the thresholds. You may also be disqualified for 7 to 56 days or given six points on your licence – half way to a driving ban.
You can see the speeding band table below these very words:
|Speed limit (MPH)||Recorded speed (MPH)|
|20||41 and above||31-40||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|
Band C fine: 150% of weekly income
Band B fine: 100% of weekly income
|Band A: 50% of weekly income|
|Penalty points / Disqualification||Disqualification of 7-56 days OR 6 penalty points||Disqualification of 7-28 days OR 4-6 penalty points||3 penalty points|
New UK speeding laws: How long do penalty points stay on my licence?
Speeding endorsements stay on your licence for either three years from the date of offence, three years from the date of conviction or ten years from the date of conviction. These points are known as valid during this time.
After those three years, there is another year when the points are no longer considered valid, but stay on your driving licence. During this time, the judge can factor in the fact you have them, but they won't count towards any other points gained.
In short, speeding endorsements are completely removed from your licence record after either four or 11 years. So it is easier to reach the 12-point ban limit than you may think.
New UK speeding laws: When will the change happen?
The 24th of April, 2017 is when the new rules kick in, so it may be worth considering some sort of camera detection device or sat nav with camera locations to minimise the chances of being fined. Or, you know, stick to the limits and be a safe driver.