Common Speeding Questions Answered - Including Points and Costs

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Common Speeding Questions Answered - Including Points and Costs

Speeding is an issue that continues to affect UK roads, with over 6,000 motorists caught exceeding the limit every single day last year. The repercussions are not just a matter of law; they're a matter of safety. Yet, despite the number of drivers caught speeding each year, many still have questions about what exactly happens when you are caught speeding.

Here, we answer the most commonly asked questions about speeding in the UK, from the points you'll accrue on your licence to the costs that could dent your wallet. Whether you're a seasoned driver or have just passed your test, understanding the consequences of speeding is crucial for everyone who takes to the road.

What Classes as a Speeding Offence in the UK?

Speeding seems straightforward on the surface: if you drive over the speed limit, you're speeding. However, the reality is a bit more nuanced. In the UK, speeding offences are categorised into three bands for fines - A, B and C - based on how much you exceed the speed limit.

Speeding Bands Explained

  • Band A: this is for minor offences, where your speed is just over the limit.
  • Band B: this category is for more serious cases, where the speed is significantly over the limit but not extreme.
  • Band C: this is the most severe category, reserved for instances where the speed is dangerously high, far exceeding the limit.

The band you fall into will dictate not only the fine you'll receive but also the number of points or disqualification against yourdriving licence. Understanding these bands is crucial for grasping the gravity of a speeding offence and its subsequent penalties.

How Much Will a Speeding Fine Cost Me?

One of the most immediate concerns after being caught speeding is the financial impact. In the UK, the cost of a speeding fine is not a flat rate; it's calculated based on your weekly income. This means the wealthier you are, the more you'll have to pay. However, there are some limits in place.

Calculating Your Fine

  • Band A: fines start at 50% of your weekly income, ranging up to 75%.
  • Band B: fines begin at 100% of your weekly income, with a range up to 125%.
  • Band C: the fines start at 150% of your weekly income and can go up to 175%.

Minimum and Maximum Limits

  • The minimum fine you can expect to pay is £100.
  • The maximum fine for speeding on regular roads is £1,000.
  • If you were caught speeding on a motorway, the maximum fine could escalate to £2,500.

First-Time Offenders

If you're a first-time offender and your speeding wasn't excessive, you may be offered the option to attend a speed awareness course instead of receiving a fine and points on your licence. This is not a guarantee but is often available as an alternative subject to the police forces discretion.

How Many Points Will Be Added to My Licence for Speeding?

While the financial cost of a speeding ticket is often the first concern that comes to mind, the long-term impact of points on your driving licence can be equally, if not more, consequential. Points can affect your insurance premiums and, if accumulated, can even lead to a driving ban.

Points Based on Speeding Bands

  • Band A: typically, you'll receive three points on your licence.
  • Band B: you could receive between four and six points or disqualification 7-28 days
  • Band C: in the most severe cases, you could receive six points or even face disqualification for a period of up to 56 days

Long-Term Consequences

Accumulating points on your licence can have several long-term effects, including:

  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Risk of losing your licence if you accumulate 12 or more points within a three-year period
  • Employment implications, especially if your job requires a clean driving record

Special Cases: New Drivers

For new drivers who are within two years of passing their driving test, accumulating six or more points can result in an immediate revocation of their driving licence

Understanding the points system and its long-term implications is crucial for every driver. It's not just about the immediate fine; it's about the broader impact on your life and future driving career.

Is a Speed Awareness Course a Cheaper Option?

If you've been caught speeding for the first time and your offence is not considered excessive, you might be offered the option to attend a Speed Awareness Course. This alternative to a fine and points on your licence is often seen as a more educational and potentially cost-effective solution.

What is a Speed Awareness Course?

A Speed Awareness Course is a workshop designed to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding and to promote safer driving. The course usually lasts around four hours and covers various aspects of speed management and road safety.

Cost Comparison

The cost of a Speed Awareness Course generally ranges between £80 and £100.

When compared to a minimum fine of £100 plus the potential increase in insurance premiums due to points on your licence, the course often comes out as the more cost-effective option.

Eligibility and Limitations

Not everyone is eligible for a Speed Awareness Course. Eligibility often depends on the police force and the severity of the speeding offence, and whether you’ve attended a course within the last three years.

Completing the course means you avoid points on your licence, but you can’t repeatedly opt for this alternative.

The Bigger Picture

While the immediate cost may be similar to the minimum fine, the absence of points on your licence could save you money in the long run, especially when it comes to insurance premiums.

What Happens If a New Driver Is Caught Speeding?

For new drivers, the consequences of speeding can be particularly severe. The rules are stricter, and the penalties can have a lasting impact on your early driving career. Understanding these rules is crucial for anyone who has recently passed their driving test.

The Six-Point Rule

If you’re a new driver and you accumulate six or more penalty points within the first two years of passing your driving test, you will be disqualified from driving. Your driving licence will be revoked, and you’ll have to retake both the theory and practical tests to regain it.

Why the Stricter Rules?

The rationale behind this is simple: new drivers are generally less experienced and, therefore, more likely to be involved in accidents. The stricter penalties serve as a deterrent and aim to encourage safer driving habits from the outset.

The Revocation Process

Once your licence is revoked, you’ll have to apply for a new provisional licence. You’ll need to pass both the theory and practical driving tests again. Only then can you drive unaccompanied. Until that point, you’ll be back to square one, driving only under supervision and displaying ‘L’ plates.

The Long-Term Impact

Having your licence revoked can have long-term implications, including higher insurance premiums when you do get back on the road.

It can also affect employment opportunities, especially for jobs that require a clean driving record.

Do All Speed Cameras Flash When They Catch You?

The moment of uncertainty when you pass a speed camera and wonder whether it flashed can be nerve-wracking. Understanding how different types of speed cameras operate can help clarify whether you’ve been caught in the act.

Types of Speed Cameras

Fixed cameras: these are permanent installations on the road. The most common types are Gatso and Truvelo.

Mobile cameras: these are temporary installations or can be operated from vehicles parked on the side of the road.

To Flash or Not to Flash?

  • Gatso cameras: these cameras do flash as they take a photo of your rear number plate.
  • Truvelo cameras: these cameras do not flash. They are designed to capture the speed without alerting the driver.
  • Mobile cameras: these use lasers to track your speed and generally do not flash.

How to Identify Them

  • Gatso cameras are usually yellow boxes on a pole and are rear-facing.
  • Truvelo cameras are forward-facing and can capture the driver’s face, but they are less conspicuous.
  • Mobile cameras are often operated from vans parked on the side of the road, making them harder to spot.

What Happens Next?

If you’ve been caught by a speed camera, you can expect to receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 days of the offence. If you are the registered keepers This will be a Section 172 Notice, which you must return within 28 days to inform the police who was driving the car at the time of the offence.

How Can I Check the Number of Points on My Licence?

After discussing the various aspects of speeding offences, fines and cameras, you might be wondering how to check the current status of your driving licence. Knowing the number of points on your licence is crucial for understanding your standing as a driver and for making informed decisions on the road.

The UK government provides a dedicated online service that allows you to check the number of points on your licence. All you need to do is enter some personal details, and you'll have access to your driving record.

Why It's Important to Know

  • Points on your licence can affect your insurance premiums.
  • Accumulating too many points can lead to a driving ban.
  • Some employment opportunities may require a clean driving record.

The online service doesn't just show the number of points; it also provides other valuable information such as:

  • The type of licence you hold
  • Any restrictions or endorsements
  • The expiry date of your licence

It's good practice to regularly check the status of your licence, especially if you've recently been involved in a traffic offence. Being proactive can help you take corrective measures before things escalate.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Speeding Ticket?

Normally, you can expect to receive two key notices within 14 days of the incident if you are teh registered keeper, if your lease the vehicle or is finance it will go to those companies initially. The first is the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), which serves as a formal indication that you're being considered for prosecution due to a speeding offence. must be returned within 28 days to confirm who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence.

Once the Section NIP/172 Notice is returned, you'll either receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a letter instructing you to attend court, depending on the severity of the offence. The letter may also offer you the option of taking a speed awareness course as an alternative to receiving points on your licence. The timeline for these subsequent steps can vary but usually follows within a few weeks after the Section 172 Notice is returned.

Talk to Us

If you have been caught speeding or received penalty points on your licence and you'd like to discuss your situation 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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