If you’ve been caught speeding it’s likely you’ve had a “Notice of intended prosecution” letter through your door. If you think the speeding ticket is unfair you may want to plead not guilty or get the speeding ticket overturned.
However, telling a road traffic officer that it’s not fair you receive a ticket is not going to make a difference! The traffic officer was just doing their job as was the speed camera that may have caught you.
The police may have better things to do and speeding fines may seem a bit of a moral outrage but there may be little you can do. If you were caught driving over the speed limit, for the most part, you should admit you were in the wrong.
Speeding fines are a large source of revenue and all of the funds go towards government expenditure, no matter how wrong you think this may be. While it would be nice to think that most people drive safely on the road, in 2016 nearly 2 million fixed penalty notices were handed out in both England and Wales.
Most drivers would have been caught by mobile speed cameras and fixed cameras. Cameras such as these are very high tech, becoming even more so over time. This includes SPECS, average speed cameras which are used for enforcing the speed limit in the UK. These cameras are usually found close to roadworks, whereas variable speed cameras are typically used on smart motorways.
Back in April of 2017, if you had been caught speeding you would face a new sentencing structure. This structure changed slightly but the laws surrounding speeding has remained the same. If you have received a speeding ticket you should expect to pay at least a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.
While these penalties are usually issued automatically you may be offered the chance to attend a course. Speed awareness courses are an alternative to getting points on your licence but you will still have to pay a similar fine.
The maximum penalty you’ll be expected to pay is £2,500. This sum is imposed by a magistrate and is usually given if you are prosecuted for speeding on a motorway. However, these days fines have to take into account how much you earn.
If you are fined £2,500 and have to attend a court hearing it’s likely you were driving very fast and earn a lot of money. However, a magistrate can use their own judgement on the offence and can issue fixed penalty notices or driving bans as they see fit.
If you have been caught speeding multiple times and you’re contesting a speeding ticket you may not be successful. Repeat offenders who have 12 points or more over a period of three years are likely to be disqualified from driving for a time.
Getting a speeding ticket overturned is not as easy as you may think. Police forces usually have evidence to hand and can turn your small penalty into a larger one. This is why less than 1% of all speeding tickets in the UK are contested and only 50% of appeals are successful.
Many successful appeals are due to the technicalities of how the ticket was issued and when. However, many penalties issued by a speed camera are dropped if the registered keeper of the vehicle responds to the Notice of Intended Prosecution. This only tends to happen if the registered keeper cannot remember who was behind the wheel at the time.
This does have a lot of risks in itself as a magistrate may decide not to believe the claim. In fact, they can even fine the keeper of the vehicle £1,000 for not telling them who the culprit is. What’s more, is the magistrate can even issue them a driving ban if they wish.
As soon as you have been caught by a speed camera you will be issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution. However, if you have been caught speeding by a police officer the Notice of Intended Prosecution may be given verbally.
If you are issued a postal NIP it may take up to 14 days from the day of the alleged offence to arrive. The registered keeper of the vehicle has to respond within 28 days of receiving the NIP. You have to respond to the NIP even if you are choosing to appeal against the speeding ticket.
Some of the most common defences for a speeding ticket include:
The Notice of Intended Prosecution has a few incorrect details. These details could include the time, location, or nature of the alleged offence. Please note that typos or spelling mistakes do not count.
The driver who was alleged to be speeding was not driving at the time of the offence.
The road sign indicating the speed limit was incorrect or missing.
The speed measuring equipment was being misused or had not been calibrated.
If you have received a speeding ticket you may want to check out the myriad of websites that tell you how you can get the allegations dropped. Some websites go so far as to telling you via their online calculator how much your fine is likely to be.
If you would like to contest a speeding ticket you need to enter a not guilty plea. This plea with result in you being summoned to court for a hearing.
If you are sure you have valid grounds to contest the NIP you may want to go to court without hiring a speeding solicitor. You may also want to go to court without the help of a solicitor if you can put your case forward confidently and intelligently.
You are well within your rights to represent yourself in court and a magistrate could be quite sympathetic to a respectfully argued and considered case.
While representing yourself is usually a lot cheaper than hiring a solicitor a magistrate won’t be happy if you have failed to understand the law. They may also fail to be happy if you cannot show that you are innocent. If you have not received many or any speeding tickets in the past then going to court is not a risk worth taking. However, if you are likely to face a driving ban or you’re likely to be fined a lot of money you may wish to seek legal advice.