Tougher fines for most serious speeding offences

Posted by Rory O'Driscoll on
Motorists convicted of the most serious speeding offences are to face harsher penalties under new sentencing guidelines for magistrates.
Motorists convicted of the most serious speeding offences are to face harsher penalties under new sentencing guidelines for magistrates.

Changes revealed today by the Sentencing Council will see drivers caught well above the speed limit facing fines of 150 per cent of their weekly income – up from the 100 per cent previously imposable. This will see those caught driving at 41mph in a 20mph zone  - or 101mph on a motorway – liable to the increased fines.

The present cap on such a fine – which stands at £1,000 or £2,500 if caught on a motorway – will remain in place when the guidelines come into force on 24 April 2017.

This will have potentially serious implications for motorists, far more so than if the maximum level of fine had been increased. Tim Williamson, Senior Associate, explains – "This is because fines will continue to be 'means-tested' but motorists are likely to find themselves considerably more out of pocket in the event of a conviction".

The changes follow feedback sought by the Sentencing Council from magistrates and criminal justice professionals in 2016 which revealed that the existing guidelines did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the speed limit increases.

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Rory is a Trainee Solicitor, currently working in our Real Estate team based in Southampton.

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