Have You Been Fined For Speeding? You May Be Able To Contest The Charges

In England and Wales, over 150k fines are given each year with this number increasing. This is likely due to better speed measuring equipment rather than drivers getting faster on the roads.

Over 50% of the motorists were speeding on the motorway but for some drivers, getting a fine for doing 32mph in a 30mph zone is likely due to a zero-tolerance stance by some police forces.

Can a penalty be avoided?

The best way to avoid getting a speeding fine in the first place is to stay under the speed limit. This can sometimes be easier said then done, though. If you are unfamiliar with certain roads and they have 20mph limits or signs are hidden or hard to see. Also the limits on motorways can change and it’s easy to be caught out by this.

You weren’t technically speeding

You can contest your fine if you don’t think you were speeding. Most forces will allow you to be 10% over the speed limit, plus another 2mph for camera calibration errors. This defence only works if you were a shade over the limit – you won’t get away with doing 50mph in a 30mph zone!

You weren’t the one driving

It may be the case that you weren’t even driving the car at the time, in which case you need to identify the driver and prove they were insured, otherwise you’ll be opening a whole new can of legal worms.

The sign was hidden

When you receive your Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), which is the document sent to you by the police telling you they intend to fine you and add points to your driving licence; you need to respond within 28 days to say you intend to contest. If you can provide photographic evidence of the speed limit sign being obscured, that’s a huge help.

You may need a lawyer

If the police don’t accept your side of the story, you will probably need help from a driving offence lawyer, as you’ll need to go to court.

Many drivers caught speeding seek legal help because they believe they had good reason to be driving over the speed limit – they were taking someone to hospital, for example. Your lawyers will probably advise you to plead guilty to speeding but will use your mitigating circumstances to reduce your penalty.

Your lawyers can ask for evidence of you (or your friend) speeding in your vehicle. Mistakes are occasionally made in the recording, or in other procedures, which can sometimes mean your case is dismissed.

Don’t rush to court

You need to remember, though, that going to court doesn’t automatically mean your case will be quashed or your punishment reduced. Occasionally, the magistrate may give you a larger fine and more points than you’d have got if you just accepted your Fixed Penalty Notice in the first place. Listen to your legal team and be sure you have a solid case before you go to court.

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