The Sentencing Council has published new guidelines to be implemented in all magistrates courts in England and Wales, and has targeted the most serious speeding offenders alongside animal cruelty and TV laws.
The most serious speeders will see fines rise by 50 per cent under new laws later this April
Under the new guidelines, the most serious speeding offenders will face fines that have a starting point of 150 per cent of their weekly salary, up from the current base of 100 per cent. The upper limit for fines, £1,000 – or £2,500 if caught on the motorway – remains the same.
The Council said the new fines reflect the increase in potential harm that can result as speeds above the limit increase. What categorises a driver caught speeding as a serious offender is the amount they exceed the speed limit by and varies between different speed limits. The average fine in 2015 was £188, with the courts sentencing 166,695 speeding offenders in that year.
Speed limits and ‘serious offender’ increments
- • 20mph – 41mph+
- • 30mph – 51mph+
- • 40mph – 66mph+
- • 50mph – 76-85+
- • 60mph – 91mph+
- • 70mph – 101mph+
Sentencing Council member and district judge Richard Williams said: “The magistrates’ courts deal with the vast majority of offenders in England and Wales, so it is essential that the guidelines they use are up to date and help ensure that sentences are applied consistently and effectively.
“We have listened to the views of magistrates, criminal justice professionals and others with an interest in particular offence types in developing these guidelines. We are grateful to all those who responded to the consultation and helped shape the final versions that will be used in courts.”