What Do You Do If You’re Caught by a Speed Camera
Many UK drivers have the same experience; running late for work and trying to make some time up when they see the flash in the rear-view mirror and they spend the next two weeks waiting for a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) from the police.
The letter has landed…
If you haven’t heard anything after two weeks, you’re probably in the clear, but if you do get the NIP (or if your company gets it, as it has to go to the registered owner of the vehicle), then you have a few choices.
You could pay a fine
The majority of speeding offences end in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), which comprises a £100 fine and three penalty points. You have to accept the penalty if you decide on this route, and you must identify the driver and pay the fine within 28 days. If you fail to identify the driver or pay, then you can be referred to court, where you could end up with a larger fine.
You could appeal the FPN
If you feel you’re being unfairly punished, you can contest the charge in court, but you’ll need help and advice from legal experts like motoringoffencelawyers.com. You have 28 days to lodge an appeal and a magistrate will hear the case. The prosecution only has to prove that you were speeding, so that legal advice is invaluable. Be careful here – sometimes it’s better to just accept the FPN because if you don’t have solid grounds for appeal, you could end up with a much bigger fine than £100.
If you were significantly over the speed limit, you’ll most likely have to go to court anyway, where you could be fined anything up to £1,000 (it’s a maximum of £2,500 for motorway offences). These court-imposed fines vary because the circumstances of your case will vary.
Penalty points aren’t trivial
You might think that a £100 fine and three points is nothing much, but you’ll be stuck with them for at least three years. They could increase your insurance premiums and if you accumulate more than 12 points within three years, you’ll face disqualification.
Go on a speed awareness course
You could ask for a speed awareness course instead of accepting a fine and points. Many UK police forces offer these courses, but it’s up to them to decide if you get one – and if you do then you pay for it yourself.
If you’re summoned to court…
If you were significantly over the speed limit or you already have more than eight points on your licence, you’ll go to court. The court will look at mitigating circumstances, any previous record that you have and any other circumstances around your case. You could receive a fine of anything from £100 to £2,500 and an additional punishment ranging from three points to a driving ban.
You might be thinking of representing yourself in court, but this probably won’t end well as you’ll lack the legal expertise to take on a court – this is why you should lawyer up, especially if your job security depends on it!