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How do speeding fines, speeding ticket and cameras work?

Police and speed cameras are used to catch and fine drivers speeding on the UK roads. Learn more about speeding tickets and the penalty for speeding.

Speed cameras, also known as traffic enforcement, are used on the UK roads to detect drivers who are driving above the speed limit.
Police also use radar speed guns to detect vehicles speeding cameras and breaking rules of the road. The increase in technology used to keep the roads safe has led to an uptick in the number of people being prosecuted for speeding.

What happens if you’re caught speeding

Your penalty for speeding depends upon:
1) How fast you were driving 2) How you were caught speeding – by the speed camera or by the police on the roadside. If you’re caught by a speed camera you either get a speeding ticket, formally known as a Fixed Penalty Notice (FNP), or a letter to go to court. If you’re caught by the police, there’s also a chance of just getting a verbal warning instead of an FPN or a court summons.

How long does it take to get a speeding ticket?

If you’re caught speeding by a camera, you receive a speeding ticket within 14 days of committing the offence. The ticket includes a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and a Section 172 (S172) notice.
The registered keeper of the vehicle that’s caught speeding must use Section 172 to inform the police about who was driving when the offence was committed within 28 days. If you fail to provide the details on time, you could be fined up to £1,000 and have six penalty points added to your licence. You don’t usually receive a speeding ticket when you’re given a verbal warning by the police for speeding. Once you’ve sent back the Section 172 notice, you’re either offered a Speed Awareness Course or you receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FNP) which you can choose to accept or reject within 28 days of receiving it. If you plead guilty and accept the FNP, you have to pay a fine and penalty points are added to your driving licence. If you plead not guilty, you’ll have to go to court to contest the speeding ticket.

How much is a speeding fine?

Speeding fines are determined on a sliding scale, depending on the severity of the speeding offence.
The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence – this penalty could increase depending upon the severity of the speeding offence. If your speed was so high that it’s considered dangerous, you might be banned from driving or face a fine of up to £2,500 (or 175% of your weekly income). The fines are divided into three bands – A, B, C – which correspond to how serious the offence is: • Band A is up to 10mph over the speed limit and the fines are between 25-75% of a weekly wage • Band B is 11-21mph over the speed limit; the fines are between 75-125% of a weekly wage, four-six points on your licence, and up to 28 days’ disqualification from driving • Band C is more than 20mph over the speed limit in a 20 or 30 zone, more than 25mph over the limit in a 40 or 50 zone, or more than 30mph over the limit in a 60 or 70 zone. Band C fines range from 125-175% of a weekly wage. On top of this, it’s likely you’ll get six points on your licence, or up to 56 days’ disqualification from driving The fine and penalty points added to your licence are the same, regardless of whether you were caught speeding by the police or the speeding cameras. Remember: you could have your licence revoked, depending upon the number of points you already have on your licence.

What happens if I have 9 points on my licence?

If you already have nine points on your licence, you could be taken to court. If your penalty points build up to 12 or more, you risk being disqualified from driving.
Penalty points stay on your licence for three years from the date you got the penalty when you get a four-year endorsement, or for 10 years from the date of the offence when you get an 11-year endorsement

What happens if your caught speeding as a new driver?

If you’re a new driver and you received your licence within the last two years, your licence would be revoked if you get six or more penalty points.

Can you avoid paying a speeding fine?

If you’re a first-time speeder, and you weren’t going too fast over the limit, you might be offered a Speed Awareness Course as an alternative to having three points on your licence. You will have to pay for the course, which is roughly the same price as the fine.
If you’ve had any previous speeding fines, you won’t be able to go on a speed awareness course to avoid points on your licence. If you end up facing a judge for your speeding ticket, certain personal mitigation factors may help reduce the penalty you face: • No previous convictions • Good character and/or exemplary conduct • Genuine emergency If you plead guilty to the offence, the court might reduce your sentence. However, some factors may also increase the penalty you face, such as: • Previous convictions which have relevance to the current offence • Bad road or weather conditions • Carrying passengers or a heavy load • Towing • Committing the offence while on bail • Driving for hire i.e. taxi drivers • Driving a large vehicle like a lorry • If you commit the offence near a school or other high-risk location, with pedestrians or high levels of traffic Note: Each speeding case is unique, so it’s not necessary that these factors will surely affect the fines and penalty you face.

Contesting a speeding ticket

You can contest a speeding ticket if you believe you’re not guilty and were well within the speed limit.
However, it’s important to note that if you’re proven guilty in court, you could face a bigger fine and have more penalty points added to your licence. Many drivers contest a speeding ticket when it contains incorrect details such as the time or location of the offence. They may also contest the ticket when someone else was behind the wheel and they’re being wrongly accused of committing the offence or when the signage for the speed limit was missing or incorrect. Some offenders may write a letter of mitigation for speeding to get a more lenient fine and penalty. Again, you should carefully consider whether contesting a speeding ticket is the right option for you or not as it can land you with a heftier fine and more penalty points if your plea is not accepted in court.

Speeding ticket: 14-day rule

According to Gov.uk, you must receive your NIP within 14 days of committing the offence – some offenders try to use this ’14-day rule’ as a speeding ticket loophole to avoid paying fines and getting penalty points when they don’t receive the speeding ticket in time.
However, it’s not as simple as it seems. You can’t use this loophole if the notice was dated within the 14 days of the offence, even if you received the notice late. Also, if you recently bought or sold the vehicle, and the previous keeper of the vehicle first got the notice within the 14-day period, and you received the notice afterwards, the speeding ticket is still valid. And, even if you received the notice after the 14-day period, you’re not automatically pardoned the fine and penalty. For advice on speeding limits and penalties for speeding in Northern Ireland, please visit nidirect.gov.uk to learn more. (external website) While speeding behind the wheel lands you with fines and penalties, it also put others’ lives at risk. Read our tips on road safety to keep yourself and others safe on the UK roads. Related: Mandatory speed limiters on UK cars from 2022

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