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New UK Speeding Fines Explained

It could be said that there's good news and bad news when it comes to the new fines for exceeding the speed limits here in the UK that came into force at midnight on 24th April this year; it depends entirely on your point of view, of course. What has changed significantly is how much the most serious offenders will have to pay. But if you're one of those who accidentally strays a couple of mile per hour over the limit and gets caught by one of those friendly mobile speed traps at the side of the road, the consequences remain the same.

Until the changes came into force, the minimum you could expect to be fined for breaking a speed limit was £100 and three penalty points added to your license. As of the 25th April 2017, English and Welsh magistrates have now been instructed to apply the Sentencing Council's Band C fine for what are considered to be the most serious offences.

What is a Band C fine?

Where you now have to start expecting something more than the previous sanctions is if you're caught doing what's considered as "considerably more" than the speed limit. So, if you're in a 30 mph zone for example, you'll have to be caught doing 51 mph or above to get a Band C fine. A Band C fine is 150% of your "relevant weekly income," along with either six points on your license or a disqualification of between 7 and 56 days. If you earn £500 per week and you're hit with a Band C fine, you'll find yourself having to stump up £750, which is a lot. However, the maximum ceiling for a Band C fine is £1,000 (or £2500 if it's a motorway offence) regardless of whether you earn £800 per week or you're a Premier League footballer on £250,000 a week.

Where does the original fine still apply?

If you get what's called a fixed penalty fine that's handed out on the roadside or comes to you in the post, you'll be required to pay the £100 fixed penalty and send in your license to be endorsed with the usual 3 points. However, those who receive a court summons will still be liable for the existing sanctions of Bands A and B, which are 50% of relevant weekly income and 3 points and 100% of weekly income and 4 to 6 points, respectively.

Discretion

These fines and penalties are not set in stone though, and magistrates have quite a degree of discretion to take into consideration mitigating or aggravating circumstances. For example, a Band C fine can be reduced to as low as 125% of there are mitigating circumstances, such as if it was some sort of genuine emergency. But on the other hand, if there are aggravating factors like an offender was towing a trailer or they are a persistent offender, the fine can be as high as 175%. These are at the lower end of the remit of magistrates though. They are also able to issue higher fines, impose driving bans, or even give out prison sentences if the offence is seen as warranting it.

For a complete picture of the new fines, here's a table detailing them all:

17 May 2017

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Speed limit (mph)

20

30

40

50

60

70

Recorded speed (mph)

41 and above

51 and above

66 and above

76 and above

91 and above

101 and above

Sentencing range


21 - 30

31 - 40

41 - 55

51 - 65

61 - 80

71 - 90

Band C fine

Points/disqualification

Disqualify 7 - 56 days

OR 6 points

3 points


B and B fine


31 - 40

41 - 50

56 - 65

66 - 75

81 - 90

91 - 100

B and A fine

Disqualify 7 - 56 days

OR 6 points