Often, drivers will have a general understanding as to the way in which speeding offences are dealt with, but important changes introduced this Spring may have passed some by. Here, our Road Traffic Offences specialist Ghaz Iqbal offers an insight into the way in which speeding offences are now punished.

Have there been changes to the way in which speeding offences are prosecuted?

No; the method remains unchanged- but the penalties don’t!

Speed enforcement is usually dealt with in accordance with the guidelines issued by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

The guidelines state that a particular ‘margin of error’ is normally 10% over the speed limit, plus 2 miles per hour. This margin of error is still in place

I was well within the margin of error- does this mean I don’t need to worry?

Not necessarily. It is vital to realise that the police have discretion as to whether or not they follow the guidelines. They can depart from them if they act ‘fairly, consistently and proportionately.’

From experience, I have dealt with an increasing number of cases in which the police are taking a stricter view.

How do the penalties differ now?

These are now harsher than before:

Band A offences are at the lesser end of the scale; for instance, driving up to 30 mph in a 20 mph zone would fall into this category. You can then be issued with a fine of between 25 – 75% of your ‘relevant weekly income’ as well as three penalty points;

Band B offences (e.g. if your recorded speed was 45 mph in a 30 mph zone) result in a fine of between 75 – 125% of your relevant weekly income. You may also be disqualified from driving for a period of 7-28 days, or issued with 4-6 penalty points;

Band C offences are the most serious of the three (e.g driving at 66 mph or above in a 40 mph zone). Offenders face fines of between 125 – 175% of their relevant weekly income, but will be disqualified for a period of 7-56 days or given 6 penalty points.How How HhhHow

It is important to understand that the court must issue the stipulated number of penalty points, but they have some discretion as to whether they disqualify a driver. The applicable guidelines state that if a driver is ‘driving grossly in excess of the speed limit’ the court should consider disqualifying the driver for more than 56 days.

Due to their very nature, speeding offences require careful handling by a solicitor. Please contact me on 0113 200 7413 without delay if you require expert advice, or feel free to email me at ghaz.iqbal@harrisonbundey.co.uk.