Speeding fine changes: explaining the new costs

  • Author: GILES KIRKLAND

On the 24th of April, 2017, new speeding fine guidelines will come into effect. These changes, announced in the previous January, won’t change anything in Scotland or Northern Ireland, but they will change how much a speeding ticket costs drivers in England and Wales.

These changes don’t alter what qualifies as speeding but, rather, they push to penalise drivers that accelerate the most. In other words, people caught speeding in the Band C category can receive a fine based on how much they earn.

yellow-traffic-camera

Are you prepared for the changes to speeding fines?

What are the speeding bands?

For those that don’t know, speeding fines are sectioned into three bands, based on how fast you were caught driving in respect to the speed limit of the road in question. While the bands do not use set percentages, they all follow the basic premise that Band A represents the smallest jump over the speed limit, with increasing bands representing further increases.

Speed Limit (MPH) Band A (MPH) Band B (MPH) Band C (MPH)
20 21 – 30 31 – 40 41 – 50
30 31 – 40 41 – 50 51 – 60
40 41 – 55 56 – 65 66 – 75
50 51 – 65 66 – 75 76 – 85
60 61 – 80 81 – 90 91 – 100
70 71 – 90 91 – 100 101 – 110

As you can see, if you’re driving 30 mph in a 20 mph road - a 50% increase in speed - it is a band A offence. However, a 50% increase on a 70 mph motorway would be 135 mph, so the bands often get smaller (at least as far as percentages go). On the motorway, speeding up to 90 mphs (an increase of under 30%) will warrant band A.

Of course, as you can also see, once you get into band B and C, the gaps are often separated by no more than 10 mph. As such, it’s very easy for offenders to accelerate from one band to another, yet this system still helps punish the most dangerous (due to their speed) more.

How much are speeding fines?

As stated earlier, the upcoming changes only influence band C offences. Currently, magistrates can impose a fine equal to 100% of your weekly salary. This is limited to £1,000 for offenses that don’t occur on a motorway, and £2,500 for those that do.

traffic-camera-on-highway

Speeding fines depend on which band you are speeding in.

However, after April 24th, this will change to 150% of your weekly salary. However, the limits on non-motorway (£1,000) and motorway (£2,500) still stand.


So, before these changes, if you are caught speeding in band C and you earn £300 a week, this is what you will pay. After April’s changes, the court will fine you with a speeding fine of £450.


Of course, magistrates can change the fine under allowed circumstances. Under mitigating circumstances, such as a first offense, or even a proven emergency that prompted the driver to speed, the speeding ticket can be reduced to 12%. So, a £450 fine can be reduced to £375.

On the other hand, any aggravating elements can also cause the fine to increase. This includes the likes of a previouscriminal record, for instance. In these circumstances, a fine of up to 175% can be imposed. The £450 fine, in this case, actually rises to £525.

Why change the speeding ticket system?

The main reason behind the change is to further discourage people from speeding. By ensuring that higher speeds continue to warrant higher fines, drivers are less likely to overdo it with the accelerator.

Speeding fines depend on which band you are speeding in.

Of course, the £1,000 and £2,500 has not been raised and many feel that this protects the most wealthy. However, for most drivers, the fines are certainly enough. To receive the full £2,500 at 150% (Band C), you would have to be earning around £6,000 a month, or £86,000 per annum.

Ultimately, it’s worth remembering that speed limits are imposed for a reason. These fines serve to penalise those that go above these restrictions, as well as discouraging other drivers from breaking the limit.

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