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Speeding Limits, Rules, Fines and Cameras

If you’re caught speeding, you’ll receive a ‘Notice of Intended Prosecution’ in the post as well as a Section 172. The law requires you reply to this notice within 28 days to confirm who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence.

Speeding cars

After returning the Section 172 notice, you’ll either receive a ‘Fixed Penalty Notice’ (FPN) or a court summons.

You can challenge any speeding ticket by writing a letter explaining why you believe you shouldn’t be fined, or you can contest it in court.

Drivers in the UK found committing a speeding offence will find themselves split into a category band, the most popular bands are labelled A, B and C, each band and its penalties represent the severity of each individual case.

Whether driving an HGV, van, or new and used car, anyone caught speeding can be fined a minimum of £100 with three penalty points added to their licence. The licence of a new driver can also be revoked if they receive more than six penalty points within two years.

Category band A is the most prosecuted offence, this generally leads to an FPN if you accept responsibility. The fine for committing this offence is a minimum of £100 and three penalty points. If you plead not guilty, you will have to go to court to contest it.

Should you appear in court, there are various factors that could affect the severity of your sentence. These include, previous convictions, carrying passengers or a heavy load, towing, working in the motor trade (like a taxi driver, or mechanic), weather conditions or the location when committing the offence.

Drivers placed in either band B or C; are mostly caught speeding excessively. If your placed in one of these categories the fine for the offence can be up to 175% of your weekly income, penalty points and even disqualification from driving.

This can of course impact on your employment, especially for those working within the motor trade that need their driving licence.

If a police force operates one, then a driver caught speeding for the first time may be given an opportunity to attend a speed awareness course, therefore, avoiding penalty points and maybe a price increase on their vehicle annual insurance policy.

You could also be disqualified from driving altogether if you receive 12 penalty points, or more, within a three year period.

Many urban locations, particularly near accident hot spots or on ‘smart’ motorways, now have average speed cameras monitoring how we drive.

Average speed cameras are generally located in areas identified as safety concerns. Often on busy single or dual-carriageways, major A-roads, and through roadworks for the safety of traffic and the workforce.

They generally resemble surveillance cameras and are mounted in yellow plastic housings. They’re infrared illumination can also capture vehicle registration plates in the dark.

An average speed camera system requires a minimum of two linked cameras in a sequence. There is no specific limit to how long an average speed camera network needs to be on a single stretch of road.

When a vehicle passes through a camera in a linked sequence, the number plate is recorded to identify the vehicle, plus the time taken to pass between subsequent cameras. If this exceeds a set speed limit, the vehicle details are submitted for prosecution.

Once you have passed an average speed camera, you need to ensure your average speed is below the legal limit set to escape prosecution. Whereas static cameras will use a flash to illuminate vehicle number plates once an offence is committed.

Smart motorways use fixed-point cameras, typically mounted and not necessarily painted in the high-visibility yellow. They will operate whenever a temporary speed limit restriction is enforced, they can also be used to observe the national speed limit.

The latest cameras are more versatile and use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), allowing an offending vehicle to be identified and linked to its registered keeper.

As well as speed limits, they also monitor offences committed in bus lanes, at traffic lights, and to enforce congestion-charging schemes.

Exceeding the speed limit is against the law, and any instance of speeding could be treated as dangerous driving by the courts.

It’s always the responsibility of the motorist to drive safely, and at an appropriate speed and distance.