SPEEDING on the road can not only cause an accident and get you hurt, but it can hurt those driving alongside you too, that is why it is treated very seriously.
Here was what you need to know about speeding and the tickets you may receive or reject.
Can I reject a speeding ticket after 14 days?
When you're given a speeding ticket, you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and a Section 172 notice.
You may have heard that if you get a speeding ticket through the post more than 14 days after the vehicle you own was photographed speeding, the ticket can be cancelled.
There is some truth to this, but the rules are more complicated than that.
All the police need to do is show the ticket should have reached the vehicle’s registered owner under normal circumstances within 14 days.
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This means the letter could go to an old address if you’ve not updated your licence, it could go to a hire company or your work address if the vehicle isn’t yours.
If it gets to one of these within 14 days, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t reach your address for another fortnight.
It also means delays caused by postal problems don’t affect the rule – if it was posted in time for normal service to get the letter to you, a four-day strike won’t sway the courts.
The 14 days also does not include the day of the speeding offence.
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For example, if the speeding incident happened on January 1 and the speeding ticket arrives to you on January 16, you will have grounds to contest.
Does the 14 day rule apply if the letter goes to the wrong address?
The address the speeding ticket is sent to will be based on the address registered with the car via the DVLA.
If you have recently changed the registered address, and it has been sent to the wrong address, there may be grounds to challenge it to avoid being given an increased fine.
But if the offence details are correct, and the fine was issued within the first 14 days then it cannot be rejected.
When can I challenge a speeding fine?
First, you have to reply to your speeding ticket with a not guilty plea.
This will result in you being summoned to a court hearing.
Challenging a speeding ticket can be difficult if you don't have the correct evidence.
You may be able to challenge it if the notice was incorrect e.g. the date, time, location of the speeding offence, or if you weren't driving when the offence took place.
Challenges will not be accepted if the ticket issues spelling mistakes or minor mistakes like the colour of a vehicle etc.
Unless you have evidence that the camera is faulty it can be tricky to challenge the evidence of the camera itself.
It could only be challenged under these circumstances if the speed-measuring equipment had not been calibrated or was being misused.
However, it is unlikely that you will be able to challenge your speeding fine successfully this way.
What is the penalty for not paying a speeding fine?
There are two ways of failing to pay a fine on a fixed penalty notice.
You either can reject the fixed penalty notice from the start, and you will receive a summons to go to court.
You can be fined more and get more penalty points if the court decides you’re guilty of speeding.
The amount you’re fined depends on what the speed limit was and how much over it you were driving.
It’s usually a percentage of your weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you were driving on a motorway).
You could also be disqualified from driving or have your licence suspended.
Or you can be penalised if you accept the penalty notice but then fail to pay within 28 days.
The fine is registered with the court and is automatically increased by 50%.
It is then for the court to enforce the fine and they do have the option of issuing a warrant for your arrest if you fail to respond.
What is the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988?
Under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, anyone who is to be prosecuted for:
- dangerous, careless or inconsiderate driving
- failure to comply with traffic signs or the direction of a police officer on traffic duty
- leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position
- speeding (if it is not dealt with under the fixed penalty system)
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can only be convicted of the offence if they were warned at the time of the offence that a prosecution would be considered.
Or if a written Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) specifying the offence and its time and place was served on them or the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days of the offence.
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