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What to Do If You Get a Speeding Ticket

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 15 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Speeding Fine Conditional Offer Fixed

There are two different ways that you can be caught for speeding in the UK - either by a policeman pointing a speed gun at the side of the road, or by a speed camera.

All traffic offences in the UK require a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to be issued to allow a prosecution to proceed - meaning that if you are snapped by a camera, the NIP must be issued in writing and must be served within 14 days of the alleged offence. So if you think you've been 'flashed' by a camera, but three weeks passes from the incident and you've received nothing - you're pretty much home and dry.

However you won't have that luxury if you are stopped by a 'hairdryer' toting traffic police officer - he or she can issue you with a verbal NIP and this is considered sufficient by law.

What to do When the Ticket Arrives

If you've been snapped, the NIP should drop onto your doormat within 14 days of the camera recording the offence. This NIP will be issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle and will contain all the pertinent information needed regarding the time, date and location of the offence. The registered keeper has responsibility under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (section 172) to provide the authority with the name of the person driving the vehicle at the time that the offence took place, and will have to complete a driver information form which is included with the NIP.

In recent years, many registered keepers of vehicles involved in speeding offences have taken the 'playing dumb' route to escape speeding fines - claiming that they don't know who was driving the car at the time and requesting photographic evidence from the speed camera involved. As long as the registered keeper has taken reasonable steps to determine who it was, then this is often an end to the matter - especially if the camera has nothing that will stand up in court, and the ticket is often dropped.

However it doesn't always work and it's worth noting that car owners who cannot (or will not) identify the driver of the vehicle can face a fine of up to £1000 and 6 Penalty Points on their driving licence. Also important is to know that if you are the keeper of the car and you ignore the NIP, the fine can rise from the £100 initial fine for the offence right up to £1000. You can also expect to receive up to 6 points on your licence.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the offence (how fast you were going is one of the biggest deciding factors), you may be eligible for a conditional offer of Fixed Penalty.

If you are offered a conditional offer, this means that you can accept that you committed the offence, and take the penalty, pay a fixed fine (the minimum is currently £100), agree to have your licence endorsed with 3 points, and that's an end to the matter. If you wish to do this, follow the steps outlined on the back on the NIP and be more careful next time!

Appealing Against the NIP

If you don't wish to accept the conditional offer and wish to fight the charge, then you can appeal against the charge. Each case is assessed solely on its own merit and you must appeal in writing, stating the reasons that you think the charge is inappropriate. The details of where to send your appeal will be on the back of the NIP.

At this point you should be aware that ignorance is not a defence in the eyes of the law, so saying that you 'didn't know the speed limit' won't wash and the ticket will stand. If you seriously want to appeal the ticket, then you still need to fill in the driver information form and send it back to the issuing party within 28 days. This is a legal requirement and you should do this regardless of the future action that you intend to pursue.

There are very strict guidelines about the positioning and location of speed cameras, and the signage that must be around them. If you feel that you were snapped by a camera that doesn't adhere to these regulations then you might have a case, and should put your issues in writing as described above. Make sure you do enough research first because if you take the issue to court and lose this can turn out to be far more costly than just accepting the consequences of your actions and paying the fine in the first place!

What Next?

If you wish to challenge the speeding offence have a read through our article Challenging a Speeding Fine or Appealing Against a Speed Camera Ticket.

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[Add a Comment]
I recently received an NIP for driving at 36 in a 20 mph zone, this is my first violation and I've been driving for four years, I understand that I was going too far over the limit to be offered the course and I think I can handle a £100 fine and 3 points as so far I have a clean license but I'm worried I might've been going too far in excess of the speed limit to qualify for a fixed penalty.
Nebuchadnezzar - 15-Jan-18 @ 5:43 PM
Rach - Your Question:
HiI have had an NIP on our motability vehicle in my child's name. Apparently doing 35 in a 30. I thought it was speed limit plus 10% plus 2 which would be 35. Do I chance it by not taking the course etc. We live in Wales

Our Response:
The device tolerance is 32mph. A fixed penalty usually offered from speeds of 35 mph upwards with speeds of over 50mph resulting in a court summons. Sometimes a course will be offered for speeds of 35mph to 42 mph. If you're offered the choice of a course and don't choose it, you will be given a fixed penalty.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Dec-17 @ 12:57 PM
Hi I have had an NIP on our motability vehicle in my child's name. Apparently doing 35 in a 30. I thought it was speed limit plus 10% plus 2 which would be 35. Do I chance it by not taking the course etc. We live in Wales
Rach - 15-Dec-17 @ 6:34 PM
bigdave - Your Question:
I recently had a ticket come through the post 3 months after the event. I was caught at exactly 100mph in a 70 zone. says they have photographic evidence but think it must have been from a stationary camera. I have not filled it in and sent it back yet, especially as the offence was committed on 12th september 2017. they have now sent another form through saying that the driver details must be completed within 10 days otherwise a court summons will be sent. I'm kinda hoping if its left long enough to reach 6 months, it disappears. worried if it goes to court what my consequences could be, any suggestions on my story.thanks in advance

Our Response:
If you don't reply you will receive a court summons regardless. If this a first/original NIP and not a follow up one, you can only reject it if you were the registered keeper at the time of the offence and had not changed vehicle or address around that time. Check out our guide for further information
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Dec-17 @ 2:37 PM
I recently had a ticket come through the post 3 months after the event. i was caught at exactly 100mph in a 70 zone. says they have photographic evidence but think it must have been from a stationary camera. i have not filled it in and sent it back yet, especially as the offence was committed on 12th september 2017. they have now sent another form through saying that the driver details must be completed within 10 days otherwise a court summons will be sent. I'm kinda hoping if its left long enough to reach 6 months, it disappears. worried if it goes to court what my consequences could be, any suggestions on my story. thanks in advance
bigdave - 11-Dec-17 @ 1:49 AM
Hi, I was driving on the M25 one evening, the variable speed limits were showing changeable speeds but varying between 40 and 50. However between three junction they were closing lanes randomly causing vehicles to move across lanes along the whole stretch, at on point from four down to one lane. I got flashed at one gantry when coming around a bend and a truck on the inside of me, I saw my lane was closed from the overhead sign and moved over (likely accelerating to do so) but received a notice for doing 61 in a 50 zone. I drive a sports car so plus or minus 10mph is a couple seconds. Can I claim safety and the need to maneuver as a defense? I have the footage from a dash cam. Thanks
Cerbus - 6-Dec-17 @ 9:54 PM
Parkey5 - Your Question:
I have been sent an NIP for doing 47mph on the motorway for going through a variable speed limit where the limit was 40mph.I'm sure the car photographed on the outside lane was going much faster than me, but it's possible I was going the notified speed? I really can't remember, the speed changes so much on the M62 at the moment.Is there anything you can do to help?

Our Response:
Not really....you have no way of proving whether you werespeeding or not. If you're sure you were not speeding you could appeal and the case will go to court, it will then be up to the police to provide their evidence of your speed. Only do this if you're 100% sure you weren't travelling at 47mph as suggested.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Dec-17 @ 12:57 PM
Davidjon71 - Your Question:
I was caught in my small works van doing 92mph on a dual carriageway, by a policeman using a speed gun whilst on a bridge.He did say that I would receive a NIP 10 to 20 days later; which was a month ago??Any suggestions??

Our Response:
An NIP is only issued if you're not stopped at the time of the offence. It's more likely that he told you a Fixed Penalty Notice would be issued. These are usually issued within 28 days but the police have up to 6 months in which to take further action. It's also likely that court summons might beissued depending on the speed limit in force at the time...again, the police have up to 6 months in which to initiate action.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Dec-17 @ 12:28 PM
I was caught in my small works van doing 92mph on a dual carriageway, by a policeman using a speed gun whilst on a bridge. He did say that I would receive a NIP 10 to 20 days later; which was a month ago?? Any suggestions??
Davidjon71 - 3-Dec-17 @ 8:09 PM
I have been sent an NIP for doing 47mph on the motorway for going through a variable speed limit where the limit was 40mph. I'm sure the car photographed on the outside lane was going much faster than me, but it's possible I was going the notified speed? I really can't remember, the speed changes so much on the M62 at the moment. Is there anything you can do to help?
Parkey5 - 2-Dec-17 @ 9:50 PM
Karti - Your Question:
Hi, I ran a red light and it was a 40mph Zone couldn’t slow down in time as it was peak hour traffic. I definitely saw flash lights flashing. Have been driving for four years with no history penalties. Do I get an option to take an awareness course instead of points ?

Our Response:
Courses are always given at the discretion of the police, so we can't tell you whether you will be offered one or not unfortunately.
NoPenaltyPoints - 1-Dec-17 @ 2:24 PM
Hi, I ran a red light and it was a 40mph Zone couldn’t slow down in time as it was peak hour traffic. I definitely saw flash lights flashing. Have been driving for four years with no history penalties. Do I get an option to take an awareness course instead of points ?
Karti - 29-Nov-17 @ 11:42 PM
Liz - Your Question:
Hi, I use M25 on a daily basis where I do average of 60mph. I received NIP today saying I was doing 62mph instead of 50mph. I was able to their website to view my car camera pictures and even the signage picture that says 50. I'm totally distressed, extremely worried and don't know what to do. I'm considerably a new driver and have been so extra careful but error of judgement has caused this. Pls help! What can I do and expect. Somebody calm my heart. It's running race.

Our Response:
You may be offered a speed awareness course, or alternatively 3 points plus £100 fine. There isn't much you can do to appeal this if the 50mph signage was clear.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Nov-17 @ 3:22 PM
Hi, I use M25 on a daily basis where I do average of 60mph. I received NIP today saying I was doing 62mph instead of 50mph. I was able to their website to view my car camera pictures and even the signage picture that says 50. I'm totally distressed, extremely worried and don't know what to do. I'm considerably a new driver and have been so extra careful but error of judgement has caused this. Pls help! What can I do and expect. Somebody calm my heart. It's running race.
Liz - 16-Nov-17 @ 10:35 PM
Harrison - Your Question:
I was snapped doing 37 on a 30 on the a505 church street east bound On the 16/10/17 but got the letter through on the 9/11/17 am I ok?

Our Response:
It is more than 14 days and in theory you can reject the NIP on this basis. We're assuming that (a) you're the registered keeper of the vehicle (i.e it's not a company car, wife's car, lease car etc) (b) you haven't moved house recently (c) you have not changed vehicle recently. Please follow the steps in our guide here
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:13 PM
My son has received a Single justice procedure notice for a fixed camera speeding offense. However they have addressed it to him misspelling his name despite it being correct on his license, log book and the scan of his Reply to notice form. Does this invalidate the notice and how do we respond?
Jools - 11-Nov-17 @ 8:17 PM
I was snapped doing37 on a 30 on the a505 church street east bound On the 16/10/17 but got the letter through on the 9/11/17 am I ok?
Harrison - 10-Nov-17 @ 3:17 PM
Mo - Your Question:
Hi, I never changed my address on the log book and the speeding ticket went to my old address and not knowing all these letters were coming through I finally received them at the point when the court had already decided to fine me 800 and 6 points on the license what should I do ?

Our Response:
There's not much you can do really... it's your error for not changing your address wthh the DVLA. If you are considering appealing you should contact a professional motoring lawyer.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Nov-17 @ 2:29 PM
Hi, I never changed my address on the log book and the speeding ticket went to my old address and not knowing all these letters were coming through I finally received them at the point when the court had already decided to fine me 800 and 6 points on the license what should I do ?
Mo - 8-Nov-17 @ 5:43 PM
Hi there anyway to find out when I last attended a speed awareness course.
Dave - 24-Oct-17 @ 5:14 PM
Ben_g40 - Your Question:
Hi,I very foolishly decided to put my foot down today and saw the overhead gantry flash twice as I went through it. The gantry was not displaying a speed limit so I was unaware that the camera was active.I was doing approximately 120mph on the M42. It was at 5:30am today (Sunday).I commute 120 miles a day and my licence is essential for my job as I work in the motor trade.What is the likelihood of me getting banned or will I be lucky enough to get the 6 points.I could cope with a short term ban, however, anything over 4 weeks is likely to cause me issues.My own stupidity so I accept my fate, whatever happens!

Our Response:
We really can't say. You will almost certainly receive a court summons where the recommended/suggested penalty for speeds, grossly in excess of the speed limit is a disqualification in excess of 56 days. You should seek legal advice, to try and plead mitigation if your job requires that you have a licence etc.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Oct-17 @ 2:09 PM
Hi, I very foolishly decided to put my foot down today and saw the overhead gantry flash twice as I went through it. The gantry was not displaying a speed limit so I was unaware that the camera was active. I was doing approximately 120mph on the M42. It was at 5:30am today (Sunday). I commute 120 miles a day and my licence is essential for my job as I work in the motor trade. What is the likelihood of me getting banned or will I be lucky enough to get the 6 points. I could cope with a short term ban, however, anything over 4 weeks is likely to cause me issues. My own stupidity so I accept my fate, whatever happens!
Ben_g40 - 8-Oct-17 @ 2:20 PM
JOE K 0504 - Your Question:
Hi I was driving through Horspath outside Oxford towards Wheatlyfor about the 2nd time ever, I am a very careful driver with no points on my licensedoing 50 mph, should have been 30mph apparentlythe road had no signage ,repeat signage, streetlights or pavements, pedestrainsthe pavements and streetlights had stopped about half a mile previouslythis was open countryside with grass vergesthe mobile camera was in a van , at roadside, in a dip quite hidden 1/4 to 1/2 mile after a slight hill so waiting to catch people who did not know the areathere were no other cars on the road and it was 10am mid weeki was going to work as a nurse, had an upset tummy so was in a bit of a hurry but was not deliberately exceeding the speed limit which with the topography should have been 50when I saw the van I slowed immediately to 30, so it must have clocked me as I came over the small hilli have just lost my younger sister to cancer and wasnt completely concentratingshould I contest this as things were not clear and I seems like entrapment

Our Response:
If the (single carriage) road was not signposted and had no street lighting, you might be able to claim that you could reasonably have mistaken it for a road with a national speed limit of 60mph. You may need legal representation to succeed.
NoPenaltyPoints - 26-Sep-17 @ 3:31 PM
hi i was driving through Horspath outside Oxford towards Wheatlyfor about the 2nd time ever, i am a very careful driver with no points on my license doing 50 mph, should have been 30mph apparently the road had no signage ,repeat signage,streetlights or pavements, pedestrains the pavements and streetlights had stopped about half a mile previously this was open countryside with grass verges the mobile camera was in a van , at roadside, in a dip quite hidden 1/4 to 1/2 mile after a slight hill so waiting to catch people who did not know the area there were no other cars on the road and it was 10am mid week i was going to work as a nurse, had an upset tummy so was in a bit of a hurry but was not deliberately exceeding the speed limit which with the topography should have been 50 when i saw the van i slowed immediately to 30, so it must have clocked me as i came over the small hill i have just lost my younger sister to cancer and wasnt completely concentrating should i contest this as things were not clear and i seems like entrapment
JOE K 0504 - 25-Sep-17 @ 11:22 AM
Aadam - Your Question:
Hi, I was issued a NIP for doing 42 in a 30mph dual carriageway with street lighting. Nowhere on the dual carriageway did they have any repeaters to indicate the speed. I went on a speed awareness course last year and they teach that on a dual carriageway with a central reservation and steet lighting it ls safe to do 40mph unless repeaters show otherwise. But there wernt any repeaters. Also, if I admit I was the driver, when I get conditional offer can I request evidance and calibration report before I accept the points or fine?

Our Response:
It doesn't sound like the information you've been given is correct. If street lights are in place and are not more than 200 yards apart and there is no other signage then a 30mph limit applies. Ignorance is unfortunately no defence and it's unlikely you'll be successful in a challenge. What would be the point in requesting calibration information?
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Sep-17 @ 2:42 PM
Hi, I was issued a NIP for doing 42 in a 30mph dual carriageway with street lighting. Nowhere on the dual carriageway did they have any repeaters to indicate the speed. I went on a speed awareness course last year and they teach that on a dual carriageway with a central reservation and steet lighting it ls safe to do 40mph unless repeaters show otherwise. But there wernt any repeaters. Also, if i admit I was the driver, when i get conditional offer can i request evidance and calibration report before i accept the points or fine?
Aadam - 11-Sep-17 @ 12:32 AM
Tomo - Your Question:
I was caught speeding 78 on an A road by a van which was parked on the hard shoulder is this legal cos I thought hard shoulders were for emergencies only thanks

Our Response:
The emergency services are allowed to use the hard shoulder. It's more likely that the van was in a bay/layby to the side of the hard shoulder.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Sep-17 @ 12:24 PM
Hi, Im looking at contesting a speeding ticket, there could have been 2 possible drivers, although it was most likely me who was driving at the time as i do 90% of the miles in the car. The photographic evidence only shows the rear of the car and it has privacy glass. it was 45mph in a 30, is it worth contesting? i dont want to be landed with more points and a larger fine than just accepting the 3 points. Thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks
confoundedbyCurry - 1-Sep-17 @ 10:10 AM
Hi, i've received a NIP for for doing 35 in a 30 but the offence was on the 4th Aug but the letter is dated 29th Aug. My car is a lease car but i shouldnt be difficult to trace. Can i claim it is invalid as its after the 14 day period? Many Thanks Bev
Bev - 31-Aug-17 @ 7:18 PM
Hi, I have just received an NIP for apparently doing 61 in a 50 zone. I was in an area that I don't know and honestly can't remember where it could have been! I do know however, that I was being very careful with my speed because I already have 9 points on my licence (3+3 for speeding and 3 for parking) and I really couldn't risk being caught again and I had my sat nav on too. I must have missed the sign for the 50! Is there anyway to avoid another 3 points, and thus losing my licence? If I can't avoid points, how long would I lose my licence for? I am gutted because I was being so careful!
Magicmum - 31-Aug-17 @ 2:29 PM
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