Speeding is the most common road traffic offences in the UK, totalling nearly 50,000 offences resulting in a motorist being summoned to Court per year. The penalties for speeding offences differ depending on the type and severity of the offence and can include a speed awareness course, penalty points on your licence or a driving ban.
What is the procedure if I am caught speeding by the Police?
For minor speeding offences, a Fixed Penalty Notice will usually be handed out by the Police Officer at the time of the offence. For more serious offences, especially when the speed is more than 10mph over the limit, a Summons to court is suggested. The registered keeper of the vehicle should receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) which includes information about the speeding offence which the Police must serve within 14 days of the speeding offence.
What is the procedure if I am caught speeding by a camera?
The owner of the vehicle would get a NIP in the post which is required to be signed and returned within 28 days. The case can then be proceeded by a Fixed Penalty Notice or discussed in Court for more serious offences.
When am I likely to receive an immediate disqualification?
Court procedures state that if a person has 12 penalty points within 3 years a banning from driving must be imposed for at least 6 months. If a person already has 9 points on their licence and commits another offence which carries 3 points, the case will be taken to court, and the driver would be banned unless extraordinary hardship could be demonstrated.
An instant disqualification can be forced for more serious offences. In the case of speeding, this is when the alleged speed was over the limit substantially. If the speeding offence is in excess of 45% of the speed limit there can be an instant ban.
I admit I was speeding, how can I avoid a driving ban?
A well prepared and presented plea of mitigation could secure a penalty of points rather than a driving ban if you are aware of your speeding. Such a plea often requires in-depth case examination which takes place weeks before the Court hearing to prepare the appropriate proposals for mitigation argument.
What speed limits do I need to be aware of?
It is important for all motorists to understand the law when driving. The national speed limits are as follows:
- Built up areas: 30mph (20mph in some, signposted areas)
- Single carriageways: 60mph
- Dual carriageways and motorways: 70mph, unless otherwise stated
- The law is straightforward when it comes to speeding offences; if you are caught speeding you are breaking the law.
- Any person who is caught speeding does have the right to challenge that allegation or appeal the case if they are already convicted of speeding.
In all speeding cases, the prosecution will have to show that the driver was driving at a speed more than the national speed limit for the road that they were on. If they can prove this, the prosecution will most likely be successful. However, there are circumstances where a defence can be raised. At JMR Solicitors, we can attempt to raise a defence where there was a legitimate reason for speeding to reduce the penalty. Please note that the Court only need to prove that a driver was speeding, so ignorance to the speed of travel will not amount to a defence in these cases.