It can happen to anybody, no matter how careful you are as a driver. You're driving along a 30mph road and you don't realise you're actually going slightly over the limit at 31mph. Then there's a flash in your rear view mirror. But what actually happens when you're caught speeding? What are the repercussions? Penalties range from a fine and points on your licence to increased insurance costs and a ban from driving, so it's important to understand the consequences. Here's what to expect and when, and how to deal with the fine when it hits your doormat.
There are some reports that claim not all cameras are fully operational, but it's impossible to know if this is actually true. Rather than relying on this as a fact, we suggest the safest way to avoid getting a ticket is to stay within the speed limit at all times.
The National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) recommend police officers use their discretion when drivers are only a few miles over the national speeding limits. But this is only a recommendation and, in the eyes of the law, you're liable for a speeding ticket as soon as you exceed the limit. If you do 71mph in a 70 limit, you're breaking the law.
The police have 14 days to issue a notice of intended prosecution (NIP). If you don't hear anything within this time, it's likely nothing will happen. But get legal advice if one arrives after the 14 day period — just ignoring it could result in prosecution and penalty points. The NIP will be sent to the registered keeper of the car, so bear this in mind if you drive a company car.
The least you will get is a £100 fine and penalty points. You'll get 28 days to pay the fine and the points will then be issued. If you don't reply within this timeframe, you could end up going to court. Very serious offences, such as motorway speeding, will be referred to court automatically and you could face an instant ban from driving.
Penalty points, also known as endorsements, will stay on your driving licence between 4-11 years depending on the offence. If you collect more than 12 points in any three year timeframe, you could find yourself without a licence and be disqualified from driving. You can check how many points you currently have on your licence at gov.uk. You must always tell your insurer about any points you have, as this will affect the price of your premium. If you don't do this, your policy could be cancelled and your increased premium could be backdated to the date you got the points.
To appeal, you need to be pretty certain you can prove there's been a mistake. Common defences are if the NIP has incorrect details of the alleged offence (typos and spelling mistakes don't count) or if you can prove you weren't driving. Arguments like 'I didn't know I was speeding' won't be accepted.
Always bear in mind that if your appeal isn't successful, the fine is likely to be far higher than your original fine.
At Hastings Direct, we try to keep insurance costs as low as possible. You can choose from our range of policies, and tailor the policy to suit your needs. If you have points on your licence you may be better suited to a SmartMiles policy, as the black box technology will help you measure your driving style and speed.
Get a quote today and see how much you could save.