Drivers caught breaking the speed limit could be fined up to 150 per cent of their weekly income under new rules
Legislation changes from next Monday (24 April) will see serious speeding fines rise by up to 50 per cent.
The new system, which bands speeding offences based on severity, has been devised by the Sentencing Council following reports that 166,695 people in England and Wales were sentenced for speeding offences in 2015 alone.
The most serious fines, in Band C, will be for people caught driving at 41mph or above in 20mph zones, increasing to those recorded at more than 100mph in 70mph areas. Drivers in this band will receive six penalty points and can be disqualified for up to 56 days, alongside the fine of between 125 and 175 per cent of their weekly income, to a maximum of £2,500.
Band B offences relate to those breaking the speed limit by 11 to 20mph (up to 30mph on motorways) with punishments of four to six penalty points, up to 28 days disqualification, and fines varying from 75 to 125 per cent of the drivers weekly income.
"Drivers need to be better educated on the dangers of speeding and that requires government commitment to a properly funded education programme that sends the message that every serious injury and death caused by speeding is avoidable and one too many.”
Richard Johnson road traffic accident specialist
Band A offences will cover those travelling at one to 10mph over the limit, with fines ranging between 25 to 75 per cent of a driver’s weekly income and a three-point penalty on the drivers’ licence.
The Sentencing Council has also listed factors that may increase or decrease the severity of the punishment. Aggravating factors include relevant and recent convictions, committing driving offences while on bail or during poor weather conditions. Sentences may be more lenient for first-time offenders or where genuine emergency was established. First-time offenders may be offered the chance to attend a speed awareness course to avoid penalty points.
According to provisional estimates from the Department for Transport, more than 25,000 people were killed or seriously injured on the roads in the year ending September 2016 – up six per cent on the previous year.
Richard Johnson, a road traffic accident specialist at Thompsons, said: “Targeting serious speeding offenders with tougher laws is a common sense approach and something we have long called for. Hopefully increasing fines, alongside disqualifications, will make more drivers understand the severity of speeding.
“But this isn’t enough. Fines are a good deterrent but many drivers don’t understand the consequences of speeding until it’s too late. Drivers need to be better educated on the dangers of speeding and that requires government commitment to a properly funded education programme that sends the message that every serious injury and death caused by speeding is avoidable and one too many.”
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