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Speeding Fines – Know your Rights

Speeding Fines - Know your Rights
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If you’ve been caught speeding by the police, or a speed camera, you may well be kicking yourself. But your energy would probably be better spent reading up in your rights.

Speeding

The issue of speeding is usually cut and dry – either you were going too fast or you weren’t. If you’ve been caught speeding then the authorities can use their judgement to penalise you. You may just get a verbal warning from the police, but you may also be required to attend and pay for a speed awareness course, be issued with a fixed penalty of £60 and three points on your driving licence, or you may be prosecuted. Prosecution can result in a fine of up to £2,500, between three and six points being added to your licence and a potential disqualification from driving.

Notice of Intended Prosecution

A Notice of Intended Prosecution must be issued within 14 days of the alleged incident. However, a notice will still be valid after this date if the registered keeper of the vehicle hasn’t kept the DVLA up to date with their details, resulting in a delay or where the police need extra time to find out who the car belongs to. If the police stop you for speeding, an officer can give you a verbal Notice of Prosecution there and then and you won’t be issued one in the post.

Paying a speeding ticket

If you receive a speeding ticket, the easiest way to deal with it is to pay the fixed penalty and accept the points on your driving licence. You must pay the penalty within 28 days. If you ignore it or don’t pay in time, the matter will then be referred to court.

Contesting a speeding ticket

Speeding Fines - Know your RightsIf you don’t think the speeding ticket is correct, you have the right to contest it. To do this you have to complete and return the Section 172 notice within 28 days, giving details of the person driving when the alleged offence took place. You will need a good reason for contesting the ticket. These can include the fact you were not going over the speed limit, the speed limit wasn’t signposted, the ticket has been sent to the owner of the wrong vehicle or the vehicle had been reported stolen at the time.

Court hearing

If the police force does not accept your reasons for contesting the ticket, you’ll either have to pay the penalty or go to court. You’ll receive a Plea and Mitigation Form through the post, which you’ll have to fill out and return. This lets the court know whether you’re pleading not guilty or admitting the offence but want mitigating circumstances to be considered. When you appear at the court hearing the prosecution will have to prove that you were behind the wheel and that you were driving too fast for that particular part of road.

It’s worth noting that if you are found guilty in court then your penalty is likely to be significantly higher than if you just paid the ticket in the first place. However, if you’re found to be not guilty then you won’t face any further action.

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About Maria Brett

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About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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