Speeding is probably the most common offence of all. It depends on the state of your licence (how many points you have) at the time of the offence, and the level of the alleged speeding offence, how it will be dealt with. The options include:
- Attending a speed awareness course (if you’re eligible)
- Accepting a Fixed Penalty of 3 penalty points and £100 fine;
- For more serious speeding offences, or disputed cases, attending Court.
The penalty range is from 3–6 penalty points up to a disqualification, and the current maximum fines are up to £2,500 for motorway offences and up to £1,000 for offences on any other road.
In the most serious cases, an instant disqualification may be imposed. Whether you face potential disqualification, penalty points or a fine, our motoring solicitors will provide you with expert assistance to guide you through the Court process and achieve the best possible result. We will advise if the matter could potentially be defended, or if not, assist you in putting forward the best possible mitigation to keep the penalty to the minimum.
Click here to go to our speed penalty calculator page. This will tell you what your likely penalty will be depending on your speed, the limit and how many points you have.
If you already have points on your licence, please also have a look at our page on totting up and exceptional hardship.
The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 sets out the four classes of speeding offences, namely:
How long have I got to accept the FPN?
It’s usually 28 days from the date of the offer, and it should say this on the paperwork. Make sure that if you intend to accept it, you don’t miss the deadline.
I missed the deadline and now I’ve got a Summons, can I still accept the FPN?
Unfortunately once a Summons has been issued, it’s in the court system and can’t be changed back to an FPN. You may be able to plead guilty without attending court and if there’s a good reason why you missed the FPN deadline, the court may decide just to order that you pay the original fine and no additional prosecution costs.
Can’t I go on a driving course instead?
There are various driver awareness courses for the different types of offences which may be committed. If you are eligible for a course, you will be notified of that option in writing. The offer of a course is discretionary and it will depend on the nature of your offence and whether you’ve committed a similar offence in the last 3 years, usually in the same enforcement area.
Remember driving courses are offered at the discretion of the police. If you decline or don’t reply to the offer within the time frame specified, you’re unlikely to be allowed to take the course.
How do I challenge a speeding offence? Are there any defences to speeding?
If you accept that you were the driver and that you were speeding, the only true defence is that of Necessity.
This defence has been very narrowly interpreted and the courts have ruled that the defence of Necessity is not available where the circumstances did not constrain the driver to act in breach of the law. In other words, it can only apply when the driver had no real alternative other than to break the speed limit.
There are of course also Special Reasons arguments which, although not technically defences, may allow a speeding driver to avoid penalty points or disqualification depending on the circumstances.
Can I challenge the accuracy of the speed detection equipment?
The law states that a person prosecuted for speeding shall not be convicted solely on the evidence of one witness to the effect that, in the opinion of the witness, the defendant was driving at a speed exceeding that limit.
These corroboration requirements do not apply to motorway speeding offences (overall speed limit on motorways) except those motorway speed limits relating to special classes.
The corroborative witness must form the opinion that the vehicle is speeding at the same moment of time as the first witness. This means you can’t have two different witnesses forming a view as to speed when the vehicle is at two different places.
Corroboration can also be provided by the speedometer of a police vehicle, radar equipment, or Vascar or by the speed testing device being used. The courts have held that a person may be convicted on the evidence of one police officer supported by evidence by him of the reading of a speedometer or other mechanical means, even if there is no evidence that the speedometer had been tested. The same principle applies to radar guns. This may not be the case if the speed alleged is only marginally over the limit.
Is is worth challenging the speed camera’s accuracy?
At Pragma Law, we pride ourselves on giving honest advice. The honest answer to that question depends on several factors but given the technicalities involved, successful challenges are never easy, and therefore never cheap. Unless you’ve got more money than you know what to do with, it’s important you think very carefully before embarking on a challenge. We can talk you through the process so you can make an informed decision.
Just because you choose not to challenge a speeding offence, it doesn’t mean you will lose your licence provided you get the best advice. If this is your main concern then have a look at our pages on Exceptional Hardship and also Special Reasons. Also get in touch with us for a free initial consultation and you’ll receive tailored advice for your personal circumstances.