Speeding - sentencing guidelines - updated 24.4.2017

CAUGHT SPEEDING. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?

If you're eligible then you may be offered a place on a Speed Awareness Course. Otherwise, you may be given the chance to pay a £100 Fixed Penalty with 3 points endorsed on your licence.

If the relevant police force has adopted the ACPO guidelines then the following table is used to assess eligibility for a speed awareness course or £100 fixed penalty.

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COURT PROCEEDINGS - New GUIDELINE EFFECTIVE 24.4.2017

If you do not attend a Speed Awareness Course or pay a £100 fixed penalty then you will be sent a Single Justice Procedure Notice or Postal Requisition and there will be a court hearing - but you may not have to attend in person.

If court proceedings are instituted then the following table is used by the Single Justice or Magistrates to determine the appropriate penalty point endorsement or disqualification period and fine.

Where an offender is driving grossly in excess of the speed limit the court will consider a disqualification in excess of 56 days.

FACTORS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT

  • Personal mitigation

  • Previous convictions

  • Offence committed on bail or on licence

  • Poor road conditions

  • Poor weather conditions

  • Driving an HGV, LGV, bus

  • Towing a caravan or trailer

  • Carrying passengers or a heavy load

  • Driving for hire or reward

  • Bad driving

  • Location (e.g. near a school)

  • Heavy traffic or nearby pedestrians 

ASSESSING THE FINE

If you are not eligible for a £100 Fixed Penalty and your case proceeds to court then you must complete a Statement of assets and other financial circumstances. If your net weekly income is more than £120 then your net weekly income is your "relevant weekly income." Where there is no information then the court should proceed on the basis of an assumed relevant weekly income of £440. The Starting Point is before credit for a guilty plea - usually up to one-third off following an early guilty plea.

DETERMINING THE FINE

Calcluate your net weekly income ("N"). For a non-motorway offence, if N is greater than £1000 then N=1000. For a motorway offence, if N is greater than £2500 then N=2500.

Assuming an early guilty plea with full credit:

Fine Band A - the most likely fine is N x ⅓ and the sentencing range is N x ⅙ to N x ½

Fine Band B - the most likely fine is N x ⅔ and the sentencing range is N x ½ to N x ⅚

Fine Band C - the most likely fine is N and the sentencing range is N x ⅚ to N x 7/6

HIGH INCOME OFFENDERS

Where the offender is in receipt of very high income, a fine based on a proportion of relevant weekly income may be disproportionately high when compared with the seriousness of the offence. In such cases, the court should adjust the fine to an appropriate level; as a general indication, in most cases the fine should not exceed 75% of the maximum fine.

PROSECUTION COSTS & VICTIM SURCHARGE

The prosecuting authority normally asks for £85 costs following a guilty plea at the first hearing. Further, there is a mandatory "victim surcharge" equal to 10% of your fine (with a £30 minimum for offences committed on or after 8th April 2016.) The maximum surcharge is £170 where a fine is imposed.

 

'TOTTING UP'

Disqualification for a minimum of 6 months must be ordered if an offender incurs 12 or more penalty points within a 3 year period. A 'totting up' disqualification can be reduced or avoided if you can establish 'exceptional hardship' or other mitigating circumstances.