The speeding fines are changing on the 24th of April this year, for those serious offenders this could mean an increase of 50% on the previous system.
The Sentencing Council has published all new guidelines that will be implemented in magistrates courts across England and Wales. Alongside the new guidelines for excessive speeding, new sentencing is introduced for animal cruelty and TV laws.
Set up to promote greater transparency and consistency in sentencing, whilst maintaining independence from the courts, the Sentencing council’s primary role is to issue guidelines on sentencing which the courts must follow unless it’s in the interest of justice not to.
Under the new rules those classed as the most serious speeders could face fines that start at 150% of the offender’s weekly income, up from 100% of weekly income on the current system in place.
This system is rather like they what they have in Finland where penalties for speeding offences are linked to income and calculated on daily income, but in England and Wales there is a limit of £2,500 for the total. In Finland there is no limit so if you’re quite well off the finish authorities will just look at your latest tax return and work out your daily income which in some cases has been in the hundreds of thousands.
What is classed as a serious speeding offence?
The Sentencing council says the new fines reflect the increase in potential harm that can result as speeds over the limit increase. So those ignoring the speed limits sign posted out on the roads by a set amount will be categorised as serious offender. The limits vary between different speed limit zones.
Speed Limit – Serious speeding
• 20mph – 41mph+
• 30mph – 51mph+
• 40mph – 66mph+
• 50mph – 76-85+
• 60mph – 91mph+
• 70mph – 101mph+
Sentencing Council member and district judge Richard Williams said: “The magistrates’ courts deal with the vast majority of offenders in England and Wales, so it is essential that the guidelines they use are up to date and help ensure that sentences are applied consistently and effectively.
“We have listened to the views of magistrates, criminal justice professionals and others with an interest in particular offence types in developing these guidelines. We are grateful to all those who responded to the consultation and helped shape the final versions that will be used in courts.”