Speeding fines are set to increase from the 24th April 2017. Fines for the most serious speeding offences are set to rise in order to better reflect the gravity with which the courts view them.
Currently the minimum penalty you can expect to receive for speeding is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence, but from April 24, 2017, magistrates in England and Wales are being directed to apply a Band C speeding fine for the most serious offenders.
What does that mean if I'm caught speeding if I earn an annual salary of £12,000?
Band A speeding fine
A Band A speeding fine would be appropriate if you are caught speeding between 31-40 in a 30mph zone, and you can expect to receive a fine equivalent to 50% of your weekly income (£115), and 3 penalty points on your driving licence.
Band B speeding fine
You might receive a Band B speeding fine for doing between 41-50mph, in which case you'd face a fine equivalent to 100% of your weekly income (£230), and 4 penalty points on your driving licence, or disqualification from driving for up to 28 days.
Band C speeding fine
A Band C speeding fine means that anyone speeding at 51mph or above in a 30mph limit - for example - faces a fine equivalent to 150% of their weekly income (£346), and 6 penalty points on their driving licence, or disqualification from driving for up to 56 days. If you’re disqualified for 56 days or more you must apply for a new licence before you're able to start driving again.
For anyone earning £25,000 a year, a speeding fine equivalent to 150% of their weekly income means handing over a minimum of £720 - no small amount.
By way of comparison, the average speeding fine handed out in 2015 was just £188.
Disqualification from driving vs penalty points
If you get caught driving at a speed that will land you with a Band B or C speeding fine, the magistrates may believe your speeding is too serious for penalty points. In this case, you may be disqualified from driving for a period of time instead of being given penalty points.
You might wonder if you're better off being disqualified from driving for a short time, rather than taking the 6 penalty points on your licence - especially if you've already racked up a handful of points with previous motoring offfences. In some instances you'd be right, especially if the addition of 6 penalty points would take you over the 12 point limit, as this would attract a six month driving ban rather than up to 56 days.
However, magistrates are aware of this potential 'loophole', so odds are that they would be reluctant to ban you for a short time in lieu of penalty points, especially if you have been consistently driving at dangerously high speeds.
If this is the case, perhaps you should be asking yourself exactly why it's so important for you to get where you're going so quickly, and consider rethinking your attitude to the laws that are, essentially, there for everyone's safety.........