I Was Caught Speeding by a Speed Camera - What Happens Now?

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I Was Caught Speeding by a Speed Camera - What Happens Now?

If you’ve been caught speeding, JMW is able to help you understand what your next steps are. Here, we take a look at what happens after you’ve been caught speeding by a speed camera. 

The 14-Day Window

When you have been caught speeding, the police have a 14-day window within which they are obligated to send a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to the registered keeper of the vehicle. This 14-day timeframe is not arbitrary; it's a legal requirement designed to ensure that the alleged offence is fresh in the mind of the registered keeper/driver, thereby enabling a more accurate recall of events.

What Constitutes the 14-Day Period?

The 14-day period starts from the day following the alleged speeding offence. It's worth noting that the NIP must reach the registered keeper within these 14 days. If it arrives even a day later, and you can prove this, you may have grounds to contest the notice albeit rare. 

Leased or Company Cars

If you're driving a leased or company car, the situation becomes a bit more complex. You aren’t the registered keeper in this case; the leasing company or your employer is. The NIP will initially be sent to them, and they are then required to inform the police that you were the individual in possession of the car at the time of the offence. This could add a few extra weeks to the process before the NIP finally reaches you. However, the 14-day rule still applies to the initial notice sent to the registered keeper, not to when you personally receive it.

Weekends and Bank Holidays

It's also worth mentioning that the 14-day window includes weekends and bank holidays.

Understanding the NIP and Section 172 Notice

Receiving a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) in the post can be a daunting experience, but understanding its contents and the accompanying Section 172 notice is crucial for navigating the legal maze that follows a speeding offence.

What's in the NIP?

The NIP is a formal document that outlines the specifics of the alleged offence. It will include details such as the location of the incident, the speed you were allegedly travelling, and the speed limit for that particular area. This notice serves as the official record of the offence and initiates the legal process. It's not merely a warning or a slap on the wrist; it's a document that requires your immediate attention and action.

Timeframes and Conditions

The NIP will also specify any conditions and timeframes you must adhere to. For instance, you may be required to respond within a certain number of days. Failure to meet these conditions could result in further legal complications, including additional charges or penalties. Therefore, it's essential to read the NIP carefully and comply with any stipulated requirements.

The Section 172 Notice

Accompanying the NIP is usually a Section 172 notice. This form is a legal requirement that asks you to confirm who was driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence. You have 28 days to complete this form and return it to the issuing authority. Failure to do so can result in a separate charge, which could carry a fine and additional penalty points.

The Importance of Accuracy

When filling out the Section 172 notice, accuracy is paramount. Providing false information is a serious offence that could lead to prosecution for perverting the course of justice and a potential disqualification from driving. Whether it was you behind the wheel or another individual, you must declare it accurately and honestly.

Shared or Multi-Driver Vehicles

In cases where multiple people have access to the vehicle, such as family cars or company fleets, identifying the driver might be challenging. However, the onus is still on you to find out who was driving at the time of the offence. Failure to do so could be seen as non-compliance with the Section 172 notice, leading to further legal repercussions.

Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or Court?

Assuming you've confirmed that you were the driver at the time of the offence, the next step is usually receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). An FPN is generally issued for minor to moderate speeding offences and serves as an alternative to being prosecuted in court. 

The FPN will outline your options: you can either accept the FPN, pay the fine and accept the penalty points, or you reject and proceed to Court. If you opt for the latter, your case will most likely proceed to a court hearing. It's worth noting that if you were driving significantly over the speed limit, you might bypass the FPN stage altogether and find yourself facing a court summons. In such cases, seeking legal advice is strongly recommended.

The Financial Implications

The financial penalty for a speeding offence can vary considerably. At a minimum, you're looking at a £100 fine and three points on your licence. However, changes to the law in April 2017, with further updates in 2021, have complicated matters. Fines are now graded according to both the level of speeding and your weekly salary when cases proceed to Court. Speeding penalties fall into three bands:

  • Band A: for minor excesses, like driving up to 40mph in a 30mph zone, you'll be fined 50% of your weekly salary and receive three penalty points.
  • Band B: for moderate excesses, such as driving up to 50mph in a 30mph zone, the fine jumps to 150% of your weekly salary. You'll also receive between four and six penalty points or face disqualification for up to 28 days.
  • Band C: for major excesses, like driving over and above 50mph in a 30mph zone, the fine remains at 150% of your weekly salary, but you'll receive six penalty points or face disqualification for up to 56 days.

These fines can also be adjusted by up to 25% based on circumstances. For instance, speeding near a school could increase your fine, while doing so on a deserted road might offer some leniency.

Points: The Impact on Your Licence

In addition to the financial penalty, there's the matter of penalty points on your driving licence. Depending on the severity of your speeding offence, you could receive between three and six penalty points. These points remain valid for three years from the date of the offence.While you can apply for the endorsement to be removed after four years, the presence of these points can affect various aspects of your life, from job opportunities requiring a clean driving record to your ability to rent a car.

If your case is severe enough to warrant a court hearing, it's strongly advised to seek professional legal assistance. While this blog aims to provide a comprehensive overview of what to expect if you're caught speeding, it's not a substitute for tailored legal advice. A solicitor can help you understand your options and the best course of action based on the specifics of your case.

Talk to Us

If you have an issue regarding a speeding fine that you'd like to discuss with our motoring offence solicitors, please don't hesitate to call JMW on 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, fill in our online contact form and someone will be in touch as soon as possible.

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