Motoring|

Steeper speeding fines come into effect in England and Wales

road speed camera signStandard fines for motorists convicted of speeding in England or Wales got more expensive on Monday. The 24 April was D-Day for a system that now sees fines imposed which take bigger chunks out of offending drivers’ pay packets.

Drivers convicted for Band C offenses of more than 20 to 30 miles per hour over the speed limit could now end up paying a fine equivalent to 175 per cent of their weekly salary. For 20mph and 30mph zones, offenders are in Band C if they are 20mph over the limit. For 40 and 50 mph zones it is 25mph over and in 60mph and 70mph zones it is 30mph over.

There is a still a cap on the maximum fines magistrates are able to impose. The maximum is £1,000, but if offenders are caught speeding on motorways it can be up to £2,500. RAC director Steve Gooding said that while the organisation was all in favour of penalising lawbreaking drivers the fact that the maximum fine had not been increased meant high earners were not hit in their pockets so hard.

The 175 per cent of weekly salary is the most courts are able to impose for Band C offenders using the new sentencing guidelines. The lower level for speeders in this band is 125 per cent, but magistrates are more likely to take the middle ground with 150 per cent.

Band B and Band A speeding fines also depend on the speed limit where the offence took place. Band B fines range between 75 and 125 per cent of weekly income while Band A is 25 to 75 per cent. Under its policy of consistency, the Sentencing Council for England and Wales says magistrates can only cross the guidelines if circumstances are exceptional.

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