Speeding fines to rise in April 2017 – what to be aware of

Speeding fines for the most serious cases in England and Wales will rise by up to 50% after a review of sentencing guidelines for magistrates’ courts.

A driver caught doing 41mph in a 20mph zone, or 101mph on a motorway, could be fined 150% of their weekly income.

The Sentencing Council said it wanted to ensure a “clear increase in penalty” as the seriousness of offending increases.

The current limit for speeding fines is 100% of the driver’s weekly wage, up to £1,000 – or £2,500 if they are caught on a motorway.

When the new guidelines come into force on 24 April, magistrates will be able to increase the fine to 150% – although the upper cash limit will stay the same.

The most serious speeding cases subject to the rise are:

  • 20mph speed limit; 41mph and above recorded speed of driver
  • 30mph; 51mph +
  • 40mph; 66mph +
  • 50mph; 76-85 +
  • 60mph; 91mph +
  • 70mph; 101mph +

 Source: Sentencing Council

In 2015, 166,695 people in England and Wales were sentenced for speeding offences and 166,216 were fined.

The average fine was £188, but two people were also sent to prison.

The Sentencing Council held a consultation with magistrates and criminal justice professionals in 2016.

The feedback was that current guidelines “did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the speed limit increases”.

As a result, it has increased the penalty to send a clear message.

  • Sentencing guidelines must be followed, unless a judge or magistrate feels it is not in the interests of justice to do so
  • If a judge or magistrate believes that a guideline prevents the correct sentence from being given in an exceptional case, he or she can sentence outside of the guideline
  • Guidelines set sentencing ranges within the maximum for the offence as set out in current legislation
  • When legislation changes, guidelines are amended as appropriate

How to avoid speeding fines?

The easiest and safest way to avoid speeding fines is to obey the speed limit, but as cars get more powerful and the ride more stable it can be easy to creep over the legal limit, especially on roads you are familiar with. Which.co.uk advise using dedicated sat navs, sat nav apps and on-board car computers to alert you when you break the speed limit prompting you to slow down and stay safe.

If, however, despite best efforts, you do end up with a motoring conviction, A-Plan Insurance may still be able to help you find car insurance at a reasonable price. Our specialist facilities allow us to search the market for the best deal for you, which you are unlikely to be able to find online.

If you let us know about your motoring conviction, A-Plan will help find the best cover at the best price. Moreover, we can help find you insurance following more serious motoring convictions. For example, we have specialist drink driving insurance quote facilities and discounts can be provided following the completion of a rehabilitation course.

Please get in touch with your branch for more information.

Sources: The Sentencing Council, BBC