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But many accidents could be avoided if drivers follow the rules. Speed limits are put in place for a reason therefore slowing your speed down by a few miles per hour can be the difference between life and death.
Below, Trusted Dealers takes a detailed look at how speeding fines work and offers motorists advice on what to do should they get fined.
The law on speeding is that you must not drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle. Drivers should be mindful that the speed limits set are the absolute maximum, therefore it doesn’t always mean that it’s safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) suggests the following when enforcing speed limits:
|Speed Limit||Minimum speed for ticket||Minimum speed for prosecution|
You will be sent a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) outlining the offence together with a document called a section 172 notice. Regardless of whether you agree with the NIP you must complete section 172 notice declaring who was driving the car at the time of the offence within 28 days. Once the NIP has been returned you’ll receive a conditional offer of a fixed penalty notice (FPN) which you can either pay and accept the penalty point, or you can contest the fine in court.
If you already have eight or more points on your licence or you were driving well above the speed limit, you may be summoned to attend a court hearing. The police have up to six months to issue the summons.
If you disagree with the charge you have the right to contest the ticket, but it is worth noting that a fine is very likely to be overturned unless you can prove the following:
It’s worth seeking legal advice before you embark on a court hearing, to find out whether you stand a good chance of winning, and what the consequences will be if you lose.
In order to contest a speeding offence in court you must complete a plea and mitigation form, providing a legal expert thinks you have a strong case. On the form you can either plead guilty with mitigating circumstances or not guilty.
If you plead guilty with mitigating circumstances, providing you are not facing a driving ban, you may be able to do this by post. Your statement of mitigation will outline why you
were speeding and why you think this warrants a more lenient penalty. The information will be presented in court where a magistrate will decide whether to impose a lighter punishment.
Pleading not guilty:
At the hearing, you’ll be asked if you wish to call any witnesses and your case will be scheduled for a trial. You or your legal representative will attend the trial to defend your plea, although you may be given the option to conduct the initial process by post, in which case you won’t need to attend the hearing.
You have the right to request evidence of the speeding offence from the police and prosecutors prior to the hearing, which can be helpful to your defence if you can’t remember who was driving, believe an error was made identifying the vehicle or you think a mistake was made when your speed was recorded.
At the trial, the prosecution must prove you were the driver of the vehicle at the time the offence took place and your speed exceeded the limit for that stretch of road. If you’re found guilty you can be fined up £1,000 (£2,500 if you were speeding on a motorway), between three and six penalty points can be added to your licence and you may be disqualified from driving if you were more than 30mph over the limit.
The best and safest way to avoiding a speeding fine is to obey the speed limits. A dedicated sat nav, sat nav apps and some on board computers will be able to provide alerts when you break the speed limit prompting you to slow down. The same devices will also be able to flag up when you are approaching a speed camera, providing you with time to check your speed before it’s too late. If you are a new driver, it is advisable to invest in Black Box Insurance. It will help reduce your insurance premium whilst providing an incentive to stick to speed limits.