Driving advice Speeding ticket FAQs
Unknown driver caught speeding
I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution but I can't remember who was driving at the time of the speeding offence. What can I do?
The law says that a vehicle’s keeper should know who is driving at all times and not naming the driver is a separate offence, which can attract a greater penalty than the speeding.
You should do all you can to find out the name of the driver, for example, by checking bank statements, phone bills and receipts to try to place the possible drivers at the time of the speeding offence.
Many police forces also let motorists view images from speed cameras in an attempt to find out who the driver was – the sample letters page has a letter you can use to ask for this.
If, after investigating, you still don't know who was driving, you may have a case if you can show that you are not deliberately or negligently withholding the information.
Some police forces allow drivers to write informally to the Central Ticket Office with a full detailed account of why they can't give the information and what they have done to try to find out.
If yours doesn't, or your informal appeal is rejected, in most cases you will need to attend a court hearing where you would have to satisfy the magistrate that you have acted with ‘reasonable diligence’ to find out who the driver was at the time of the speeding offence.
I got a speeding notice, but I'm sure I was not exceeding the speed limit at the time and place the police said I was. Can I challenge this?
You must go to a court hearing to plead not guilty to the speeding charge or ticket. You will then need to prove that there was a fault with the method or circumstances in which your vehicle was recorded exceeding the speed limit.
There have been many cases where drivers have successfully appealed against speeding charges in this way, either by finding faults after examining photo or video evidence, or through legal technicalities such as the authorities failing to provide relevant calibration data for cameras.
In some cases the police have been known to drop a prosecution rather than disclose the evidence of an alleged speeding offence.
You'll probably need a lawyer specialising in motoring law to help you prepare and present your case.
Before doing this, you should write to the appropriate enforcing body requesting copies of the photographs or a viewing of the video used to capture the alleged speeding offence (see speeding tickets sample letters).
Likely penalties for speeding
I was caught driving at 97mph in a 70mph zone and I've received a court summons. What kind of penalty am I likely to get?
Magistrates treat each case on its own merits and will consider any circumstances you think are important to your case.
However, they use sentencing guidelines to help them decide what penalty to impose; as you’d expect, the higher your speed, the greater the risk of disqualification.
As well as the speed you were driving, the magistrate will take into account whether you have any previous convictions and your ability to pay a speeding fine.
You could face a fine of up to £1,000 (£2,500 if you were speeding on a motorway), having between three and six penalty points added to your driving licence, and/or being disqualified from driving.
Driving disqualification for speeding
I’ve just received a speeding notice, and I already have nine points on my licence from previous speeding tickets. Does this mean I will be disqualified?
If a driver reaches 12 penalty points on their driving licence, the court must impose a disqualification of at least six months, unless there are special reasons why it shouldn't.
You could try arguing that a ban would cause you hardship, but it must be ‘exceptional’ for the court to be able to take it into account when deciding a penalty – for example, losing your job is not always considered to be an exceptional hardship.