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Speeding

Speeding

 

Speeding is the most common road traffic offence with thousands of motorists being prosecuted every day. In an effort to reduce court time and expense, many speeding offences are dealt with by way of fixed penalties, allowing a defendant to avoid going to court. The more serious offences involving higher speeds are dealt with in the magistrates’ court, where more severe penalties can be imposed.

 

Out of the thousands of offences committed every day, there is only a small number that are actually challenged as most people will just accept the penalty and move on. What is concerning is that so many motorists do this without ever really thinking about it, seeing any evidence against them or knowing about the various options that may exist at sentencing.

 

Unfortunately this means that motorists will end up accepting points/disqualifications unnecessarily, which can not only affect their day to day mobility, but also increase insurance premiums for years to come.

 

Speeding Offence

 

Almost everyone has heard of people avoiding speeding convictions due to technicalities or legal loopholes however many of these loopholes and technical arguments have been closed over the years and are not as widely available to motorists as they once were. That said, there are still ways that a successful outcome can be achieved from a speeding allegation however they largely relate to sentencing.

 

There may be firms out there who assure you that there are still technical routes to acquittal and whilst (strictly speaking) this may be true, the reality is that the costs incurred for defending speeding allegations will likely far outweigh the benefit of an acquittal.

 

We would only ever recommend challenging a speeding allegation if you can say with absolute certainty that you were not speeding. If you are not certain and we begin investigating the case there is a good chance we will find that all the police equipment was working correctly and that you have no defence.

 

If you are adamant that you were below the speed limit then this may indicate defective equipment or methods used to record your speed and may provide you with an avenue of defence.

 

If the consequences of a speeding conviction (i.e. points or disqualification) would have a significantimpact upon you then we would still likely recommend that a case of mitigation would be the more effective way to proceed as it is less expensive yet still provides opportunity for a good result.

 

How Speed is Recorded

 

Various devices and methods have been used and evolved over the years and, on a motorway, merely the opinion of an officer that you were speeding is sufficient to bring a conviction.

 

When away from the motorway however, a single officer’s opinion is not enough and this is where corroborating evidence is crucial in securing a conviction. The police rely upon a variety of methods which most commonly include static speed cameras (such as Gatsometers and Truvelos), hand held laser devices (e.g. LTI 20-20, Pro-Laser), SPECS (cameras used to calculate your average speed over a specified distance), Vascar (visual average speed computer and recorder) devices and in car calibrated speedometers.

 

How these devices are operated is determined by strict guidelines and it is not uncommon for us to investigate a speeding case only to find that the guidance/instructions have not been adhered to. In these cases, how can the equipment be relied upon?

 

It is almost impossible to challenge a speeding case without expert assistance and this is where the expense of a defence starts to increase.

 

Penalty

 

Any speeding offence is punishable by way of a fine in addition to penalty points or a discretionary disqualification. For minor speeds you may be offered a place on a speed awareness course as an alternative to prosecution. If you are ever offered such a course we would recommend you accept this as it will be the best possible result in the event you plead guilty.

 

As a general rule, speeding offences currently attract a Level 3 fine, or Level 4 fine if committed on a motorway. The maximum fine for each is £1000 or £2500 respectively. To calculate an actual figure however, a defendant is asked to disclose financial information so the court can see their weekly income.The excess speed involved determines which band an offenders falls into and they increase with the seriousness of the offence.

 

  • Band A 50% of weekly income ( with a range of between 25 -75%)
  • Band B 100% of weekly income (with a possible range of between 75-125%)
  • Band C 150% of weekly income (with a possible range of 125-175%) 

 

The penalties for speeding were amended in April 2017 to allow those traveling at higher speeds to be sentenced more severely. A table explaining sentencing is below for your information.

 

The new penalties are now in force but many news outlets are erroneously reporting that the starting point for all offences is 150% of their weekly income. This is simply not the case and the new guidelines are as follows:

 

Speed Limit (mph)

Recorded Speed (mph)

20

41+

31-40

21-30

30

51+

41-50

31-40

40

66+

56-65

41-55

50

76+

66-75

51-65

60

91+

81-90

61-80

70

101+

91-100

71-90

 

Starting Point fine

 

Band C

 

Band B

 

Band A

 

Points/Disqualification

 

6 points or up to 56 days ban

 

4-6 points or up to 28 days

 

3 points

 

 

If further points on your licence mean that the total number of points is 12 or more than please review our totting page as you may be facing a disqualification of 6 months.

 

In some cases (such as in an emergency situation) there may be special reasons that apply in your case. Please contact us to discuss this further.

 

Call Duncan Lewis motoring offence specialists on 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice on all motoring law offences, including all speeding matters.


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