New government research shows that in 2014, 11% of cars and 17% of motorcycles exceeded the 70 mph motorway limit by more than 10%. This was compared to 18% and 27% in 2002.
The Department of Transport statistics also show that the numbers of drivers speeding on 30 mph roads also fell, with 45% of cars exceeded the speed limit during last year, down from 59% in 2002.
Variable motorway speed limits
Perhaps the decrease is down to the fact that many motorists are now being caught out by variable speed limits on Smart Motorways, as well as by the temporary fixed limits which often apply in motorway roadworks. A prime example is the 50mph speed limit and cameras on the northern part of the M60 in Greater Manchester.
In March of this year, a single speed camera on the M6 in Cheshire is said to have caught 1,600 drivers in just one morning. A temporary 50 speed limit had been introduced during roadworks.
Multiple speeding offences
In some cases, drivers have found themselves caught by more than one camera on the same road, or even by the same camera on successive days, without even realising until the tickets landed on their doormat.
Motorists who reach twelve points for offences committed within a three year period are at risk of a penalty point driving disqualification, sometimes called totting up.
This means that the court has to disqualify the offender for at least six months, unless the driver can show that a ban would cause exceptional hardship. Fines and prosecution costs can run into many hundreds of pounds or even more.
Long wait for speeding fine cases
In some instances, magistrates’ courts are so overwhelmed by the resulting prosecutions that it’s months into the future before they are able to list the cases for hearing.
For example, Luton Magistrates’ Court has been listing speeding cases committed a number of months earlier for first appearance in February 2016, over six months away.
Although the police must in most cases notify the driver or registered keeper of the vehicle within fourteen days of the offence – with a notification of intended prosecution – and issue any Summons within six months, there is no time limit for the case to be listed at court.
In practice, for drivers whose speed was no more than 10% plus 9mph over the limit, e.g. 79 in a 70 zone, the police will usually offer a Speed Awareness Course, provided the driver has not done the same course within the last three years.
Beyond that, most forces will offer a Fixed Penalty of three points and £100, provided the speed was below the following limits, for example up to 75 in a 50 mph zone.
However drivers who already have 9 or more live points cannot accept a Fixed Penalty and must await a Summons.
If you’re a facing a speeding prosecution that could result in a driving disqualification, get in touch with our expert motoring solicitors today.
Call us on 0808 231 3908