Speeding fines for the most serious cases in England and Wales will rise by up to 50% from today (Monday, April 24) after new sentencing guidelines took effect.
The previous limit for a speeding fine was 100% of the driver’s weekly wage, up to £1,000 or £2,500 if they were caught on a motorway.
However, under the new guidelines a driver caught doing 41mph in a 20mph zone, or 101mph on a motorway, could be fined 150% of their weekly income – although the upper cash limit will stay the same. The Government announced the increase earlier this year.
Brake, the road safety charity, has welcomed a series of measures to get tough on drivers who break speed limits.
Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, said: “Toughening the fines and penalties for speeding is long overdue.
“As a charity that offers a support service to families bereaved and injured in road crashes, we see every day the consequences of speeding on our roads. I hope that magistrates ensure the new sentences are consistently applied.”
Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions was recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor of 23% of fatal crashes in 2015.
A Brake survey found that four in 10 (40%) UK drivers admitted they sometimes drive at 30mph in 20mph zones.
Paul Loughlin, a motoring offences solicitor at national law firm Stephensons, said: “The new sentencing guidelines are designed to send out a clear message to drivers whose offences are at the extreme end of the spectrum.
“While penalty points and disqualifications are clearly a deterrent, the sentencing council and the Government clearly believe they are insufficient to deal with the most serious of speeding offences. As such, the decision has been taken to hit them in the pocket.
"Whether or not this will have any effect upon the number of serious speeding incidents occurring on roads in England and Wales, remains to be seen.”