The Government has decided to introduce tougher penalties for the most serious speeding offences, following statistics that indicate that the number of speeding offences has risen by 44% over the last five years. The new penalties came into force on 24 April 2017 in England and Wales (note that Scotland is excluded), and mean that offending drivers will now pay a fine based on a percentage of their weekly income, decided by the severity of the offence.
WHAT DO THE NEW RULES MEAN FOR DRIVERS?
For fixed penalty notices, there are no changes, with a £100 fine and three penalty points. However, for those drivers summoned to court for speeding offences the penalties are changing. Previously, drivers faced fines of up to 100% of their weekly income, with a minimum fine of £100 and three penalty points. Following the changes, fines will now be split into bandings, with Band C fines costing the worst offenders up to 175% of their weekly income. Drivers may also risk being banned from the roads for up to 56 days, or alternatively could receive six points on their licence.
The maximum fines will remain the same, with offenders being fined up to £1000, or £2500 if the offence takes place on a motorway. As noted earlier, the minimum fine of £100 and three penalty points also remains unchanged.
First time offenders may avoid the increased penalties if they take a speed awareness course, however this is not available for repeat offenders or for more serious speeding offences.
As a result of the changes, here are some worked examples of the new fine structure. All figures are based on the UK’s average salary of £27,600 (as stated by the Office of National Statistics):