In the UK, speeding is the most common type of motoring offence, with more than 50,000 drivers ending up in court each year. The penalties for speeding range from having to attend a speed awareness course – at your own expense – to a minimum of three points to a driving ban.
The national speed limits in the UK
For built-up areas the speed limit is 30mph, although some areas have a 20mph limit;
On single carriageways it’s 60mph, and
On dual carriageways and motorways it’s 70mph unless explicitly stated otherwise (lower limits apply to goods vehicles).
In the UK, the speeding laws are very plain – if you’re caught speeding, you’re breaking the law. Of course, as with any offence, someone accused of speeding has the right to challenge their allegation or conviction. Unless you’re a lawyer yourself, you’ll need expert help here if you’re to stand a chance of succeeding.
Contesting a speeding offence allegation
With these offences, all the court has to do is to prove that you were speeding. There’s no room for “I didn’t realise how fast I was going,” or “I didn’t know what the speed limit was,” This is why you need expert help in court.
What will happen after I’ve been accused of speeding?
The outcome of most speeding cases depends on how far beyond the limit you were. If you were travelling no more than 10 % = 9mph above the limit, you’ll probably be allowed to attend a speed awareness course as an alternative to points. If you’ve attended a speed awareness course before you may be offered a fixed penalty of 3 points and a £100.00 fine for a low end speeding offence which with the help of a speeding solicitor you can decide whether to accept. Penalty points stay on your licence for 3 years and so you risk accumulating points which can lead to a possible 12-point totting up ban. For higher speeds you’ll be summonsed to court without the offer of a fixed penalties and face more severe penalties if convicted.
How to deal with a fine or prosecution for speeding
With most speeding offence cases, you should receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 days of the offence. You must respond to this notice within 28 days. If you were pulled over by the police at the time you may be given a verbal warning or verbal notice of prosecution, or even the option to attend a speed awareness course instead of accepting points.
If you think you’re being unfairly charged
This is when you need a motoring offence lawyer. If you intend to contest the charge, you won’t have the knowledge or experience to do it alone. Contesting a speeding charge can be complicated and quite intimidating, so you’re best to have someone in your corner with the confidence, know-how and expertise to do it for you.
Even if all the evidence is against you – camera evidence, radar evidence – there’s still options open to you that can help you to contest a charge or reduce the severity of the punishment.
If you already have points on your licence
Motoring offence lawyers have a wealth of experience in defending drivers, even if it seems all the evidence is stacked against them, or if they’re repeat offenders. There may be minor technicalities that can get your case dismissed, or you could have your points reduced so you keep your licence. You can’t afford not to engage a motoring lawyer!