Even the most conscientious drivers can make mistakes and exceed a speed limit.
Fixed speed cameras are located on a significant number of roads. These include motorways, town and city centres and even small country lanes. There is also the potential of a vehicle’s speed being recorded by a police officer with a hand-held device. This all leads to a considerable number of speeding allegations in England and Wales every year.
If you formally accept that you were speeding, the direct effects to consider are paying money and receiving points on your licence. The indirect effects are sometimes more significant and potentially worrying though. These might include how it might affect your employment, your insurance premium, and your ability to look after your family.
Your speeding on the day in question may also lead to potential disqualification if it was particularly high. If you already have some points on your licence, you may become subject to ‘totting-up’ and face the prospect of being disqualified from driving, in any event.
Our Speeding Lawyers appreciate the feelings you may have when you open an envelope to reveal an allegation that you have been speeding. We are on hand to offer specialist advice. We will examine with you whether there is any basis for you to avoid obtaining the penalty points and if there isn’t and you potentially face disqualification from driving, advise you what can be done to prevent this.
These courses are offered in many areas as an alternative to both a fixed penalty and going to court. Your speed would need to have exceeded the limit by no more than a prescribed tolerance figure. You would need to pay for the course. An advantage is that that you do not also obtain points on your licence if you complete the course instead. If you have already undertaken a speed awareness course, you will not be able to do another one for three years.
A fixed penalty for speeding is another alternative to going to court. If the police are doing this, they will send you a ‘conditional offer of a fixed penalty’ You are then given 28 days to accept the offer. You would be required to pay £100 and would receive three penalty points on your licence. It is not a conviction, but you would be required to disclose the details to your insurer, and it may affect your premium. The police will not consider any mitigation in determining the penalty, as it is fixed. If you think that you may have a defence, or ‘special reasons’ not to receive penalty points, you should consult a specialist speeding lawyer. They will advise you on what to do. If you do not accept the offer then, you can reject it and request a court hearing instead. The court would then adjudicate on your defence / any special reasons argument before deciding what penalty, if any, to impose.
The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your driving licence.
You would have received this notice because you are identified as the registered keeper of the vehicle by the DVLA. If you were driving the vehicle on the date and time designated in the notice, the matter is straightforward. You must return the form and tell the police that you were the driver at the time in question. If you know that somebody else was driving the vehicle, you must give that person’s details instead. Do not simply pass the form on to that person to deal with. The responsibility remains yours to identify the driver and complete the form fully before returning it. If you fail to return the form within the requisite time period, you will be very likely to be prosecuted for an offence of failing to identify the driver.
You must never name somebody else as the driver when they were not. You would be committing a serious offence, likely to lead to a prison sentence upon conviction. There have been several high-profile cases where this has happened, that have resulted in prison sentences.
If you genuinely do not know who the driver was, then you should be diligent and take all reasonable steps to try to ascertain the answer. You should then return the form within the time limit with the answer if you have it. If you are genuinely unable to find out, you must still return the form, explaining on it that you have been unable to find out. You may still be prosecuted, but if you were, you would have a defence if you could show that you could not with all reasonable diligence have found out the driver’s identity
We would advise that you contact a specialist speeding solicitor to advise you concerning a s172 notice
If the speed limit was 30 mph, then it is not necessary for there to be a sign indicating this, providing that the road has street lighting with lamps that are no more than 200 yards apart. In other cases, there must be adequate signage in place to show the speed. If there isn’t you will have a defence to the allegation. We would always advise that you contact a specialist speeding solicitor to advise you in this situation.
There are strict time limits that the police must adhere to. For example, if a speed camera has flashed you, then the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) must be signed by the police within 14 days of the date of the allegation. In all cases of speeding, the police have six months from the date of the allegation to lodge papers at court to request that you are requisitioned/summoned to attend concerning the allegation.
If you think that they may have or have acted outside these or any other time limits, please contact one of specialist speeding lawyers immediately, who can advise you and assist you in seeking to avoid penalty points if appropriate.
To prove an allegation of speeding the prosecution must prove to a criminal standard:
If they are unable to prove any of these matters, you should be found not guilty. If the equipment that the police used to measure your speed is unreliable, then it may be possible to argue that they cannot prove that you were speeding. Defences that have been run to a speeding charge include necessity, ‘Inadequate signage’ or via exposing a procedural irregularity (e.g., the police are out of time in a material respect)
In very limited and extreme circumstances, this may constitute a defence called necessity. More likely, it may amount to what in law is called a ‘special reason’ not to impose penalty points. You should always consult a specialist motoring offences lawyer if you think this might apply to your case.
In the first instance, we would consider whether the case against you could be proved and based upon what you tell us about what happened, whether you may have a defence or a ‘special reason’ to avoid any penalty. If you do receive points on your licence this does potentially affect you differently if you have had your licence for less than two years. You are effectively ‘on probation’ for the first two years after passing your test. If you receive 6 points or more during this period, your licence would be revoked. If this happens, then you would have to re-take and pass both parts of your driving test again.