New Guideline for Speeding Penalties in Force from 24 April 2017
The new sentencing guidelines as they apply to speeding offences have been receiving some publicity. The reports have highlighted the increase in the level of fine that can be imposed for the most serious examples of speeding that appear before the Magistrates’ Court.
The penalties involve maximum fines of £1,000 or £2,500 if the offence is committed on the motorway.
Nottingham motoring law solicitor Graham Heathcote spoke to BBC Radio Nottingham on 24 April 2017. You can listen to the interview here:
You can begin to work out the starting point for your particular case by looking at where you fall within the bands.
This covers low level speeding. It will result in three points and a fine of up to 50% of your weekly income. It applies if you are driving up to 30mph in a 20mph zone; up to 40mph in a 30mph zone; 55mph in a 40mph zone; 65 in a 50; 80 in a 60, and; up to 90mph in a 70mph zone.
This will attract a driving ban of 7 – 28 days will or four to six penalty points. This punishment will be imposed with a fine of up to 100% of your weekly income.
It covers more serious speeding – 31mph to 40mph in a 20mph zone; 41mph to 50mph in a 30 zone; 56mph to 65mph in a 40; 66 to 75 in a 50; 81-90 in a 60, and; 91mph to 100mph in a 70mph.
This sentencing range is reserved for the most serious speeding offences. The court will consider a driving ban of between 7 and 56 days or impose six penalty points. This could be coupled with a fine up to 150% of weekly income.
This covers speeds of over 41mph in a 20mph zone; 51mph in a 30mph zone; 66mph in a 40mph zone; 76mph in a 50mph; 91mph in a 60mph, and; 100mph in a 70mph zone.
A change in emphasis for mid-range speeding offences?
The guideline for Band B offences appears to be a change of emphasis in relation to the starting point. It is unlikely to be an error in drafting that suggests that the Magistrates’ should first consider a driving ban and then look at penalty points as an alternative.
We will have to wait and see whether the courts’ interpretation of the guidelines results in more motorists receiving short discretionary disqualifications. We know that the effect of such a driving ban may well be disproportionate to the time that it is in force.
The net effect of these guidelines might effect many more motorists. Those who break the limit by miscalculation rather than recklessness, now face a real risk of ending up off the road. The consequences can go beyond the simple ban, including a massive hike in future insurance premiums.
The table above show the starting point for speeding offences before the court. The fine and whether there is a disqualification or points will defend on the aggravating and mitigating factors in any case.
The guideline features a non-exhaustive list of factors that may increase serious and therefore the financial penalty as well as increase the chances of receiving a disqualification. These include:
- Previous convictions
- Offence committed whilst on bail
- Offence committed on licence or post sentence supervision
- Poor road or weather conditions
- Driving LGV, HGV, PSV etc.
- Towing caravan/trailer
- Carrying passengers or heavy load
- Driving for hire or reward
- Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving over and above speed
- Location e.g. near school
- High level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity
Some aspects of the case might reduce seriousness and therefore the penalty imposed such as:
- No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
- Good character and/or exemplary conduct
- Genuine emergency established
Net effect, many more motorists, who break the limit by miscalculation rather than recklessness, now face a real risk of ending up off the road. The consequences can go beyond the simple ban, including a massive hike in future insurance premiums.
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Contract a Motoring Law Specialist
We appreciate that your driving licence will be important to you. You may receive a notification that the police are considering a prosecution. You might be told that you have a court date.
Here at VHS Fletchers we have an experienced team of motoring lawyers, with extensive experience in what can be a complex area of the law, providing technically sound, clear advice and with a proven track record of saving motorists’ driving licences.
Please contact Graham Heathcote on 0115 9599550 or contact him using the form below for advice and an estimate of our fees.