Speeding is one of those areas of the law which causes thousands of people atleast a minor headache each year, but for many more people the legal consequences can be far more serious.
Typically if you are going to be caught speeding, it will be by means of a police speed trap (such as an officer pointing a speed gun at on coming traffic) or more commonly afixed roadside camera. Once the police determine you have exceeded the speed limit, they may decide to take any one of the following course of action against you:
- Issue a verbal warning
- Give you a speeding ticket (with a fine of £60 and penalty points)
- Take the case further by prosecuting you whereby you will have to go to court and could face a much bigger fine and up to 6 points on your licence.
When will the police prosecute?
The action the police take against you is determined by how far over the speed limit you were travelling. The Association of Chief Police Officers provide the following guide when enforcing speed limits.
What happens if you are caught speeding?
Typically, if a car is caught driving over the legal speed limit, the registered owner of the vehicle will be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) detailing the offence, and a Section 172 notice. You must respond within 28 days, using the Section 172 notice to nominate the person who was driving at the time of the alleged speeding offence. Not doing so is a separate, specific offence which could lead to a fine and penalty points being added to your driving licence.
The police must serve a NIP within 2 weeks of the speeding offence, however, in some instance the notice will stand up in court even if it is served later than this period; for example if the driver of the car has changed his or her address and other contact details without notifying the DVLA.
With most speeding offences the driver of the vehicle will receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). You can choose either to pay this and accept the penalty points or you may contest the speeding charge. If you do decide to contest a speeding charge in court, bear in mind the role of the prosecution is to simply to prove that a driver was speeding. Defences such you did not realise you were speeding or you only exceeded the limit for a few seconds will not count.