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Exceeding the speed limit is an offence under section 89 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 (RTRA 1984). In 2019 the Department of Transport indicated that speeding was a contributory factor in almost 20% of accidents. If you are found speeding, the police will issue you with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) under section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (RTOA 1988). The NIP must be served to the driver (if known) or the registered keeper of the vehicle, within 14 days of the offence being committed. If the NIP is not served within 14 days, the police will not be able to escalate the offence through court proceedings.
Speeding offences are categorised according to the severity of the offence.
Minor: The driver will be issued with up to £100 fine and 3 penalty points through a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). An FPN is an alternative method to court prosecution and allows the driver to pay a standard fixed amount to avoid potential prosecution through court. If this is the first offence within the last three years, individuals will be offered the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course for a fee and not receive any penalty points or fine.
Serious: Speeding more than 20 mph over the limit, would lead to a fine of up to 100% of your weekly income, 3-6 penalty points and/or 7-28 days disqualification.
Very serious: Driving more than 30 mph over the limit can lead to a fine of up to 150% of your weekly income, 6 penalty points, and 7-56 days disqualification. If you are found to be driving ‘grossly in excess’ of the limit, the court have discretion to consider a disqualification longer than 56 days, a permanent disqualification or imprisonment where this was considered dangerous driving.
What to do if you were not driving?
As the registered keeper of the vehicle your name will appear on the NIP and it is your responsibility to complete the documentation and return this to the police within the requested time frame. Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988), compels the person named on the NIP to identify who was driving the vehicle when the alleged speeding offence was committed.
Failure to provide the full name and address of the driver when the police request it could be considered an offence which could escalate to court. If you are convicted you could be subject to a fine of up to £1000, six points on your driving licence and the potential to be disqualified from driving.
Speeding offences are governed by the RTOA 1988, in which schedule 2 states that for minor offences you will be issued with an FPN to pay up to £100 and accept 3 penalty points. However, if you already have 9 points on your licence, or you were driving grossly above the limit, you will be prosecuted in the Scottish Justice of the Peace Court. The court can issue a maximum penalty of £2,500 for motorways and £1000 on other roads.
Speeding is an offence under The Road Traffic Order (NI) 1996 and can lead to 3-6 points and discretionary disqualifications. Northern Ireland has various fixed penalties for speeding.
Endorsable: Speeding offence caught by the police, carrying a fine between £60 and £200
Conditional: Speeding offence caught by a camera carrying a fine of £60.
The Republic of Ireland
Speeding offences are set out in the Road Traffics Act 2002 in which you will be issued with a fixed charge fine of €80 and 3 penalty points. Failure to pay fines within the time frame can result in increased fines and further penalty points being added to your licence.
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