Tuesday, 24 January 2017

If caught speeding you could be fined 150% of your weekly salary

For the most serious speeding cases in England and Wales fines will rise by up to 50% after a review of sentencing guidelines for magistrates' courts.

A driver caught doing 41mph in a 20mph zone, or 101mph on a motorway, could be fined 150% of their weekly income.

The Sentencing Council said it wanted to ensure a "clear increase in penalty" as the seriousness of offending increases.

It said the changes were not intended to result in significant differences to current sentencing practice, but to target specific offences.

The current limit for a speeding fine is 100% of the driver's weekly wage, up to £1,000 - or £2,500 if they are caught on a motorway.

When the new guidelines come into force on 24 April 2017, magistrates will be able to increase the fine to 150% - although the upper cash limit will stay the same.

The most serious speeding cases subject to the rise
  • 20mph speed limit; 41mph and above recorded speed of driver
  • 30mph; 51mph +
  • 40mph; 66mph +
  • 50mph; 76-85 +
  • 60mph; 91mph +
  • 70mph; 101mph +
Source: Sentencing Council

In 2015, 166,695 people in England and Wales were sentenced for speeding offences
  • 166,216 were fined.
  • The average fine was £188,
  • two people were sent to prison.

The Sentencing Council held a consultation with magistrates and criminal justice professionals in 2016. The feedback was that current guidelines "did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the speed limit increases". As a result, it has increased the penalty to send a clear message.

Do magistrates have to stick to the guidelines?
  • Sentencing guidelines must be followed, unless a judge or magistrate feels it is not in the interests of justice to do so
  • If a judge or magistrate believes that a guideline prevents the correct sentence from being given in an exceptional case, he or she can sentence outside of the guideline
  • Guidelines set sentencing ranges within the maximum for the offence as set out in current legislation
  • When legislation changes, guidelines are amended as appropriate
Source: Sentencing Council


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