New Speeding Laws in the UK
Speeding laws are changing, and the penalties will be much tougher
On 24th April the laws regarding speeding will be changing. Drivers had better take note as the penalties will be much harsher for anyone who is responsible for a serious speeding offence. Magistrates have been issued with new sentencing guidelines and they will be cracking down on anyone caught breaking the law. Furthermore it is worth mentioning that when you lease or hire a car you are responsible for any motoring offences whilst driving that vehicle, even if you are not the owner.
The penalty for speeding with the new Speeding Laws
If you think the fines as they stand now are too much then beware – any motorist caught going well above the speed limit will be subject to the new fines which start from 150 per cent of their total weekly income, whereas the current level is set at 100 per cent. Anyone who is convicted of driving at 101 mph or even faster in a 70-mph zone will be fined in the much more severe bracket. The Sentencing Council feel that this move towards higher fines will ensure that there is a significant and visible increase of penalties that is in line with the increase in the severity of the offences.
The minimum fine will be set at £100 and 3 penalty points, and anyone who amasses 12 penalty points over a period of 3 years could be disqualified from driving. For new drivers who are within 2 years of passing their test a total of 6 penalty points will see their license being revoked. (more details can be found on the government website)
What else is being covered?
These new laws are being put in place as a result of lengthy consultations that have seen law makers and members of various groups arguing that the previous laws, did not adequately reflect the increase in potential harm that can occur when speeds are significantly above the limits set out.
Speeding laws are just one of the areas that were covered in the guidelines for Magistrates courts regarding sentencing in both England and Wales, and the laws were published on 24th January. Other areas that they covered were in respect of TV licence evasion, animal cruelty, railway fare evasion, truancy and being drunk and disorderly; and all the changes were made to reflect alterations in the law since 2008 when the guidelines were last updated.
The new guidelines
These new sentencing guidelines have been well received by members of the sentencing council, the Magistrates Association and motoring groups like RAC who feel that they will greatly help with sentencing of some of the more specific offences that occur on the road. The guidelines have also been put in place in order to ensure that there is more consistency in the way that sentences are applied for these offences.
It is hoped that that, whilst longer sentences for anyone who breaks the speed limit excessively may be a deterrent, hitting them where it hurt financially may actually make them rethink their motoring methods and deter them from driving at speed and putting the lives of others on the road at risk.
The bottom line is that driving at considerable speed is dangerous and the law is clamping down, so drivers be warned now is the time to start paying attention to your speed – and if you are over the limits then slow down.