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Legal Eye

At Motoring Defence Solicitors, we receive countless enquiries about speeding and the associated penalties. Many believe that speeding offences can always be dealt with outside of court, so when a summons arrives through the letterbox, they have questions. The aim of this guide is to ensure that whatever speeding offence you may have committed, you will always have an idea about what to expect from the court. 


The four options


When a motorist gets caught driving over the limit, there are four things that a police officer can do:


1. Nothing


For a very minor infraction, the police would not usually bother doing anything. They may not even pull you over, and if they do, it may just be an informal caution for you to watch your speed in future. 


2. Speed Awareness Course


What many motorists do not realise is that a speed awareness course is actually an alternative to being prosecuted and, if offered, we would always recommend that you take it. Courses usually last around half a day and cost in the region of £100. If the course is completed, then no prosecution will follow, meaning no points or a fine!


3. Fixed Penalty Notice


This is what most offenders expect when committing a speeding offence (a “speeding ticket”). The driver would receive three points and a fine of £100. 


4. Magistrates’ Court Proceedings


More serious cases of speeding will result in a summons or postal requisition to attend the magistrates’ court. There are various reasons why you might end up in this situation such as:


– The excess speed was too high to qualify for a fixed penalty.

– The driver was offered, but did not accept, the fixed penalty.

– The driver was offered, but failed to fully complete or attend the speed awareness course.

– If the offence would make the motorist “tot up” (have 12 points or more in total on their licence). 


Speed Limit (mph) Eligibility for Speed Awareness Course Eligibility for Fixed Penalty Notice Magistrates’ Court
20 24-31 32-34 35+
30 35-42 43-49 50+
40 46-53 54-65 66+
50 57-64 65-75 76+
60 68-75 76-85 86+
70 79-86 87-95 96+


What Happens at Court?


If you are summoned to court, then there are a number of possible outcomes which can be effectively summarised as:


A fine of up to:


– £1,000 on a normal road; or

– £2,500 on a motorway 


as well as 


– Three to six penalty points; or

– A disqualification from driving 


Speed Limit (mph) Band A fine 3 points Band B fine 7-28 day ban or 4 to 6 points Band C fine 7 to 56 day ban or 6 penalty points
20 21-30 31-40 41+
30 31-40 41-50 51+
40 41-55 56-65 66+
50 51-65 66-75 76+
60 61-80 81-90 91+
70 71-90 91-100 101+


So there you have it, a handy breakdown of speeding offences and their penalties. If you are ever summoned to court for a speeding case, we would always recommend seeking advice, as there are often different options available, which would have a bearing on the outcome or the sentence imposed.

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