Jonathan Morrissey

Consultant Solicitor and Head of Crime, Motoring Matters & Inquests

DATE PUBLISHED: 25 Apr 2017 LAST UPDATED: 11 Jun 2021

Speeding Fines – A new set of guidelines and the correct perspective

Will you have to pay 150% of your income every time you are caught?

I have no doubt that a great many Clients will have heard today on Television, Radio and Social Media, that the Government has introduced a new set of guidelines as of yesterday 24th April 2017.

The reasons for this remain somewhat unclear, with speculation growing that this is purely a revenue generating move possibly replacing the loss to Government Funds caused by the abolition of the Criminal Courts Charge last year.

Whether this is the case or whether Road Safety overnight has become a hot topic, the issue of fines is now very much more important than ever and increasing skill is required to keep fines to a proper level. Clients should no longer go to Court without first taking Legal Advice as to how to present their case. In a large number of cases it is becoming vital that Clients are fully represented at Court also.

Whilst the message being put forward is of fines up to 150% of weekly income, it is not true to say that for example, all Clients earning £500 per week will be paying £750 if ever they are caught speeding, even when the speed is very high.

Whilst guidelines are being published quoting such fines, there are a number of other issues that the Court is required to take into consideration rather than merely speed and income.

There are no motorways in Dorset, hence the maximum possible fine is £1000 in any event. Outside Dorset on motorways, this rises to £2500.

The maximum fine can only be imposed for the most serious of cases and factors such as road conditions, traffic conditions and danger MUST be taken into consideration. Travelling at 100 mph on a country dual carriageway should not be treated in the same way as 50 mph in a 30 mph limit.

Perspective must be adopted appropriately and applied in every individual case. Blanket Policies are not allowed.

Credit for a guilty plea MUST be given, bringing fines down considerably by one third. Accordingly a Client with an income of £500 per week, who pleads guilty at the first opportunity and is fined £750, is the subject of an Unlawful Order.

These are a few examples of why the reports put out today can be highly misleading.

The real question remains. Can you afford to deal with Speeding allegations from today without Legal Advice?

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