JUST when you thought motoring couldn’t get any more expensive…
Over eight out of 10 British drivers are NOT aware of how severe the new speeding fines could be which come into force on Monday.
In some new penalties, for major speeding offences, drivers could be clobbered with points and a £2,500 fine.
In a survey this week, 84 per cent admitted they didn’t know what the new sentencing guidelines while more than half were completely unaware that the penalties for speeding were changing.
From Monday a motorist earning £50,000 per year could have to pay a fine of £1,000 for travelling 41mph in a 20mph limit.
Under new rules laid out by the Sentencing Council, the changes mean that magistrates have the power to fine motorists by up to 150 per cent of their weekly take-home income, while even minor offences can lead to fines of up to 50 per cent of an offender’s weekly income. There will be a cap of £1,000 per offence, or £2,500 if it is committed on a motorway.
Consumer website HonestJohn.co.uk carried out the survey. MD Daniel Powell 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 appears to have entered the law almost unnoticed.”
While the new rules set the bar for speeding fines, there are no plans to remove the option of Speed Awareness Courses for first time minor offenders.
Powell added: “While the new fines are clearly a deterrent, the bigger issue here is that prevention is better than cure.
“One very real concern is that, while speeding is easier to police, there are greater road safety concerns attached to driver distraction than creeping slightly over the speed limit.
“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.
“Harsher fines are a deterrent, but we can’t help but think a better, more modern approach to driver education would have a greater influence on road safety.”