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Sentencing Council imposes stricter punishments for speeding offences in England and Wales

Transport Training Academy likes to keep its readers informed about all the latest developments and news in the motoring and logistics industries. So we thought all drivers would like to know about, and be made aware of, the changes that come into force today regarding speeding fines. From the 24th April, 2017 tougher punishments and penalties for the most serious speeding offences come into force in England and Wales.

The new penalty measures have been introduced following an extensive consultation process. As a result of the consultation, the Sentencing Council concluded that previous guidelines did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the limit rises.

Under new Sentencing Council guidelines, fines for drivers caught doing 51mph in a 30mph zone or 101mph on a motorway will now start from 150 per cent of weekly income, rather than the previous level of 100 per cent. The Sentencing Council said it wanted to send an unequivocal message to drivers that serious motoring offences would be punished with serious penalties. However, it should be noted that because the maximum fines allowed by law remains the same, speeding drivers cannot be fined more than £1,000 unless the offence takes place on a motorway, where the limit is £2,500.

Speeding Penalties April, 2017

Although there has been some criticism of the new penalty system, most motoring groups have broadly welcomed the new guidelines for magistrates. AA president, Edmund King said it was right that “extreme offenders” were punished “severely”:

“Responsible drivers will welcome the changes coming into force today. The majority of drivers who keep to the correct speed, as well as driving to the conditions, won’t be affected. It is only those who deliberately drive dangerously who will end up in court,” he added.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said while the new measures “underline how seriously the courts take speeding offences”, the limit on fines means there is not a “level playing field”. He also questioned whether the police have sufficient resources to ensure the tougher punishments have an impact on road safety:

“While we broadly support linking the amount of the penalty with income, the cap on the level of fines means that this link is broken for high-income drivers – [making it] hardly a level playing field.”

Gary Rae, campaigns director for road safety charity Brake, said:

“Toughening the fines and penalties for speeding is long overdue. I hope that magistrates ensure the new sentences are consistently applied.”

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