Laws on speeding in road traffic law
What road traffic law can an individual be subject to when caught speeding?
Speeding is one of the most common offences under road traffic law. Despite roads being heavily signposted with varying speed limits, cameras in place and various different police speeding operations in place to stop speeding, individuals continue to do so and continue to get caught. Road traffic law is in place to ensure that speeding offences are taken through the right procedures and that the individual guilty of speeding is punished accordingly.
Speeding is deemed to have occurred when an individual is travelling above the accepted legal speed limit on any individual road. The speed limit obviously varies between roads, there is an obligation by law to signal any change in speeds between roads. If an individual is travelling in a 40mph zone and they are about to enter a town where the speed limit is 30mph, this should be clearly sign posted. Speeding offences are dealt with in different ways depending on the severity of the speeding offence. The following list details all potential outcomes of speeding offences.
Speeding offences are dealt with through the issuing of a ‘Notice of Intended Prosecution’ (here after referred to as NIP). If an individual is caught by a speed camera then they will receive the NIP through the post. If the individual is caught speeding by a police officer whether unmarked or not, then they will either receive a verbal NIP which is sufficient or the police will have a total of 14 days to serve the NIP, this 14 days does not include postage delays. Similar to this, upon receiving a NIP, the individual guilty of the speeding offence has a total of 28 days in which to reply to it. If they fail to do so they could receive 6 points on their licence and a fine of up to £1000. Considering that the usual punishment of a speeding offence is 3 points on your licence and a £60 fine I know what I would do.
As mentioned most speeding offences, which tend to be the less serious offences, a few mph over the speed limit here and there, result in 3 points being put on the drivers licence and the issue of a £60 fine. More serious offences required different actions to take place.
These more serious offences are usually caused by the driver being around the excess of 20mph over the speed limit. They result in potential prosecution and the individual being summoned to the court. The individual must then plead guilty or not guilty and proceed accordingly. The potential loss for an individual found guilty is between 3-6 points on the licence and fines up to £1000 - £2500 depending if the speeding offence was on the motorway.
The final potential punishment for an individual speeding is disqualification from driving. This is usually the outcome when an individual is caught speeding in the excess of 30mph over the speed limit. The length of the ban given to the guilty party is dependent on the severity of the offence and tends to last between 7-90 days accordingly.
Although speeding offence are usually pretty easy to prove and difficult to debate, there are some circumstances in which an individual who is deemed guilty of a speeding offence can put forward a defence. The following are some examples:
- If you can prove that you have rigorously investigated all possibilities but do not know who was driving at the time of the speeding offence you may have a successful defence.
- If the NIP was not received within 14 days from the day of the offence, allowing a couple of days for postage, then you have a valid defence.
There is a possible defence if you believe that there has been a mistake in identifying your car. The possibility that the registration has been read incorrectly, or that someone has duplicated your licence plates could have caused a misunderstanding.
If you were being chased and had genuine fear for your safety because of this speeding to get to safety may be a potential defence..
The defendant had a serious emergency potentially providing the defence of duress of necessity/circumstances.
Defences against speeding offences are particularly difficult to prove. If you intend to plead not guilty and aim to defend yourself against the speeding claim, I would thoroughly suggest that if you want any chance of succeeding, you do so through the use of a road law solicitor.