Speeding Offences & Speed Cameras
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;
- Agreeing to let the court deal with you in writing under the Single Justice Procedure;
- 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:
(a) exceeding the limit on a road restricted to 20, 30, 40 or 50mph;
(b) exceeding the temporary limits of 70, 60 and 50mph on roads other than motorways;
(c) exceeding on any road the limit applicable to the class of vehicle; and
(d) exceeding the limits of speed applicable to motorways only.
Each of these offences has a distinct driving offence code so that a conviction for one of the above offences can be recognised on a driving licence.
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.
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.
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 are unlikely to be allowed to take the course.
It may seem obvious, but for a speeding conviction, the prosecution must prove that:
- You were driving the motor vehicle in question, and;
- At the time and place alleged you were exceeding the speed limit.
If the court cannot be sure that either of these points have been proven, then you should be acquitted.
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.
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.
Yes, and we have done so successfully in the past. The manufacturers of speed detection devices maintain that they are extremely accurate if operated correctly. That is likely to be true, but the accuracy also relies on the way in which the device is operated. Human error can result in erroneous readings.
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 time consuming, and therefore rarely cheap. It's important you think very carefully before embarking on a challenge and at Pragma, 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 an initial consultation and you'll receive tailored advice for your personal circumstances.
Call us on 0330 1330 081 today.