Motorists prosecuted for speeding in some regions are more than three times as likely to be taken to court, according to the results of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request (The Telegraph).
While the number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued for speeding offences fell by 6% last year, figures obtained by LV Insurance show there was a 10% rise in court summons. And responses to the FOI request show significant variations in police force policies across the country.
As an example, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire took 17% of speeding motorists to court, and the City of London 15%. At the other end of the scale West Mercia brought just 5% of offenders before magistrates, while Suffolk and Kent embarked on proceedings against 6%.
According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, the average fine meted out for speeding offences by the courts is £165, compared with £60 for a fixed penalty notice.
Jeanette Miller, senior partner at Geoffrey Miller, a firm specialising in motoring cases, said: “There are cases we have come across where drivers who we would have expected to be taken to court have just been offered fixed penalty notices.
“Police forces do have a certain amount of discretion on whether to prosecute or just offer a penalty or speed awareness course and perhaps this is reflected in the figures.
“It could just be an issue of the extent to which motorists themselves accept the allegation of speed or choose to challenge it in the courts.”
Click here to read the full Telegraph report.