Thursday 04 May 2017, By Autovolo
A new speeding fine structure came into force across England and Wales last month and almost 84 per cent of motorists were unaware aware of it.
According to a survey of 100 people conducted by car consumer site Honest John, eight out of 10 drivers aged 18 to 84 did not know that the rules around being caught speeding were changing.
Daniel Powell, managing editor of Honest John, said: “While most people agree that excessive speed has no place on our roads, and that greater deterrents are likely to reduce the amount of deaths and injuries related to speeding, the new fines policy appearsto have entered the law almost unnoticed.”
What has changed?
New regulations that have come into force mean fines are now issued, based on how much you earn rather than being capped at a certain amount.
So what are the new regulations?
Judges and magistrates now have the power to fine motorists up to 150 per cent of their weekly wage for the worst speeding offences, or 50 per cent for minor offences. This will be capped at £1,000 per offence or £2,500 if excessive speeds of more than 101mph are committed on a motorway.
Those who commit the worst speeding offences on the motorway, over 101mph- won’t just face massive fines, they could be banned from driving as well.
People whose salary exceeds £50,000 per year will face a maximum fine of £355 if they are caught speeding just above the limit and up to £1,000 if they are caught doing excessive speed, such as 41mph in a 20mph zone.
And it isn’t just fines that are increasing. The maximum jail term for drivers who kill someone through excessive speed was 10 years, but under the new regulations, thathas increased to 14 years.
Why were they changed?
The Sentencing Council of England and Wales consulted the public and relevant authorities whilst conducting research into the effectiveness of speeding fines.
It found that the previous measures did not take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the limit rises.
In 2013 alone, 3,064 people were killed or seriously injured in UK crashes where speed was a factor.
What have people said about it?
Honest John’s Daniel Powell believes there are other concerns on the road to focus on beside speed. “If sentencing guidelines for speeding are heading this way, then in an era of more connectivity behind the wheel, we should be addressing concerns around mobile phone use, in-car app and sat nav distractions in much the same way,” he said.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “We welcome the change in sentencing guidelines for gross speeders. Anyone who breaks the limit excessively is a danger to every other road user and is unnecessarily putting lives at risk.
“Hopefully, hitting these offenders harder in the pocket will make them think twice before doing it again in the future.”
The new regulations came into effect in April.
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