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What Happens If You're Caught Speeding in UK?

By: Simon McBride - Updated: 18 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
What Happens If You're Caught Speeding In Uk?

On UK roads, the speed limits are set by the Department for Transport and the penalties for speeding are set by Parliament. So what happens if you get caught speeding on one of the many roads in the UK?

If you exceed the speed limit you can be caught in a plethora of ways, either by a marked or unmarked police car or a speed camera. It is then up to the police to hand out a warning or a penalty. Usually the action carried out by the police will depend on how much the driver was exceeding the penalty by.

Enforcing Speed Limits

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) suggests the following when enforcing speed limits:

  • give you only a verbal warning.
  • offer you the chance to attend a speed-awareness course, which you will have to pay for.
  • issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (a speeding ticket), with a fine of £60 and three penalty points.
  • prosecute you for speeding. This will mean you will have to go to court, and could face a fine of up to £1,000 (£2,500 if you were speeding on the motorway), between three and six penalty points on your driving license, and a possible driving disqualification.

Penalty Points

The UK has a system of penalty points for drivers. ADSA spokesman said: "The penalty points system is to deter drivers and motorcyclists from following unsafe practices on the road .If a motorist receives twelve penalty points in three years then they only have themselves to blame. If a driver or motorcyclist accumulates 12 or more penalty points in three years then they must be disqualified.”

The sentence for a driver who gets disqualified is usually set by for a minimum of six months or if they have disqualified for motoring offences before then they may get a longer sentence.

Although Parliament has set guidelines for speeding offences, the court has a discretionary power to order the license holder to be disqualified. This could be for any time period from a week up to several months. However, if the offending motorist has been brought before the court due to dangerous driving while speeding, – the court MUST order immediate disqualification.

If you have committed a speeding offence and are stopped by the police you can receive a verbal warning of prosecution. If this does take place then you do not need to be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP).

However if you are caught speeding by a speed camera then you must receive a NIP. If it is a minor offence then the registered keeper of the vehicle needs to name the person who was driving at the time of the offence and they will receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). You can choose to either pay this and accept the penalty points or, if you don’t think the ticket is correct, contest the charge in court.

You need to be aware if you take the matter to a court of law then the prosecution only need to prove that you were speeding and if you are prosecuted motorists with eight points already on their license could face automatic disqualification.

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