Motorists at Risk with Tighter Speeding Rules | Smith Bowyer Clarke

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Motorists at Risk with Tighter Speeding Rules

Many motorists have been left frustrated after rules regarding speeding enforcements have been tightened in some areas of the UK. It is quite well known that police forces use a certain tolerance formula before issuing a Notice of Intended Prosecution. These new speeding rules change the situation.

It was generally understood that police forces allowed a tolerance of 10% plus 3mph before prosecution, but motorists have been left feeling caught out with the reduction in this tolerance, to 10% plus 2mph by several police forces including the Met Police and Lancashire. Although no announcement has been made by the forces, this tougher stance has been observed consistently through motorists’ prosecutions. It is estimated that this change could lead to an increase of 347,000 drivers being prosecuted which is a rise of 259% before the new rules were introduced.

Drivers are reminded that any recorded speed above the legal limit, however marginal, is a criminal offence and can lead to prosecution. There is no defence of low margin of speed in the same way that there is no automatic right to diversionary courses such as the speed awareness course.

Speeding offences see drivers being issued with a fixed penalty for low level offences, this being 3points and £100 fine. This increases at Court for higher speeds, up to 6 penalty points and a larger fine.

Drivers who reach 12 penalty points will be taken to the Magistrates’ Court, usually under the streamlined police led Single Justice Procedure. Drivers on 12 or more points, referred to as totters, are subject to a disqualification of 6 months, unless they can show that exceptional hardship would apply. Magistrates have been urged to ensure that the discretion, to find exceptional hardship allowing drivers to avoid a 6 month ban, is used in only the most extreme cases. The Sentencing Council is also conducting a review into a change of Statutory Guidance, following repeated calls for a tougher approach.

For advice or representation, relating to these new speeding rules or to any motoring prosecution call our team today

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