Motoring fines set to rise ‘dramatically’

12.00 | 10 June 2014 | | 6 comments

Maximum fines imposed by magistrates for motoring offences including speeding and driving without insurance are set to rise dramatically, according to an article on the BBC News website.

The BBC News report says that fines for a top offence level, which includes motorway speeding, could increase from £2,500 to £10,000.

The proposed changes would see the Level 1 maximum fine increase from £200 to £800. Offences which may be dealt with by a Level 1 fine include unauthorised cycle racing on public ways.

The maximum Level 2 fine will increase from £500 to £2,000, for offences including driving a motorcycle without a helmet. Level 3 will increase from £1,000 to £4,000, and Level 4 – which includes speeding on the motorway – will increase from £2,500 to £10,000.

Jeremy Wright, justice minister, told BBC News: "Magistrates are the cornerstone of our justice system and these changes will provide them with greater powers to deal with the day-to-day offences that impact their local communities."

The BBC report says that “any new legislation would first have to be debated in Parliament but there is no current timetable for any such discussion”.


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    799 years ago today Magna Carta determined that no one could be convicted of a criminal offence except by the judgement of his peers. A necessary condition is that everyone so accused must be entitled to defend himself against his accusers – but who will now dare to do so now that the penalty for refusing to accept a £100 fine could be £10,000? What lawyer in his right mind could advise even an innocent defendant to do so? And if magistrates have no intention of applying such high fines, why do they need the power to do so?

    Over the last few years I have learned of many drivers who have accepted penalties for offences they did not commit (risking fines of £2,500 and/or prison if caught) because they dared not take the risk of defending themselves and losing.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    Surely the most important line in this report is “any new legislation would have to be debated in Parliament but there is no current timetable for discussion”. Anybody would think that the Minister was just looking for publicity …. What General Election? Your first job Minister, is to replace the missing law enforcement on our roads, you can worry about the level of fines after that!

    David Williams MBE. Chief Executive GEM Motoring Assist
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    Just to clarify these would be fines issued at a magistrate courts not your ordinary fixed penalty notice (“speeding” ticket) which is £100 and 3 points.

    In simple terms, there are three routes to court for those detected speeding:
    1. The person can choose to go to court
    2. The person has eight or more penalty points on their licence and are in danger of being banned, so their case is heard at court
    3. The person has been detected in excess of 25mph above the posted speed limit – so this would be 56mph in a 30mph speed limit zone…96mph in a 70mph speed limit zone

    In addition to the fine the magistrate can also give the driver penalty points.

    The story doesn’t just relate to speeding but to all offences that incur a fine at the magistrate court.

    Some would say these are avoidable penalties in the first place.

    Ruth Gore, Safer Roads Humber
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    Until drivers are disqualified with 12 (points) and we don’t have drivers with 40+ points on their licence the system can’t be fair. It is the points system that affects all beyond an ability to pay that is fair.

    Olly, Lancs
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    These are new maximums. To my understanding a first speeding will cost between £60 and £100 nominal. A person on a low income may struggle to pay that amount, however someone on plenty of money won’t even miss it. It’s not even a meal out for two. They may continue to break the law knowing full well they can pay the fine. Those persons should be hit perhaps harder in their pocket as a deterrent to committing offences.

    bob craven Lancs
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    Punish them until they comply!

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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