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Speedsters to Face Harsher Penalties

Speeding motorists across the England & Wales are to face tougher penalties as of Monday, 24 April 2017.

In an attempt to deter serious offending, the Sentencing Council has increased the penalty for the top band of offences. 

If a motorist commits a speeding offence that does not qualify for a fixed penalty (currently 3 points and a £100 fine) then they are subject to a potentially higher fine. Legislation categorises fines into various “bands” and “levels” to assist the court in determining a penalty.

As a general rule, speeding offences currently attract a Level 3 or Level 4 fine if committed on a motorway. The maximum fine for each is £1000 or £2500 respectively.  

To calculate an actual figure however, a defendant is asked to disclose financial information so the court can see their weekly income.  The excess speed involved determines which band an offenders falls into and they increase with the seriousness of the offence.

  • Band A 50% of weekly income ( with a range of between 25 -75%)
  • Band B 100% of weekly income (with a possible range of between 75-125%)
  • Band C 150% of weekly income (with a possible range of 125-175%)

The Current Speeding Guidelines

Speed Limit (mph) Recorded Speed (mph)
20 21-30 31-40 41-50
30 31-40 41-50 51-60
40 41-55 56-65 66-75
50 51-65 66-75 76-85
60 61-80 81-90 91-100
70 71-90 91-100 101-110
STARTING

POINT

Band A fine Band B fine Band B fine
Points/Disqualification 3 points 4-6 points or disqualify for 7 – 28 days 6 points ordisqualify for 7 – 56 days

The Current Speeding Guidelines

Tougher Penalties

As of Monday, the new penalties come into force but many news outlets are erroneously reporting that the starting point for all offences is 150% of their weekly income. This is simply not the case and the new guidelines are as follows:

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
STARTING POINT Band C fine Band B fine Band A fine
Points/Disqualification 6 points or disqualify for 7 – 56 days 4-6 points or disqualify for 7 – 28 days 3 points

The Sentencing Council said the move to increase penalties aims to ensure there is a “clear increase in penalty as the seriousness of offending increases” and this is facilitated by the inclusion of Band C fines into the guidelines.

It follows responses to a consultation arguing that the previous guidelines did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the limit rises.

Our View

The changes made are clearly meant to act as a deterrent to potential speeders as hitting offenders in the pocket  is an immediate and more significant consequence to the offender. No one really likes to have penalty points on their licence but we suspect motorists dislike parting with their own money even more.

There has been some concern raised over a declining number of dedicated road traffic police officers and this could present an issue in respect of the tougher penalties acting as a deterrent. Motorists who are inclined to speed at the higher levels will no doubt realise that the tougher penalties will only affect them if they are caught.

The only sure way to deter speeders is to increase the likelihood that an offender will be caught with a larger police presence.

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