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What to Do If You Get a Speeding Ticket

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 8 Oct 2017 | 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]
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
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
Tomo - 29-Aug-17 @ 9:10 AM
Smirk - Your Question:
Hi I was issued with a NIP ! Supposedly doing 75 in a 50mph limit in my work vehicle. Never had any points before. Thanks for help if possible.

Our Response:
Sorry we're not sure what your question is? If you're asking about the likley outcome, a speed of 75 in a 50mph zone, could result in a court summons. If it doesn't go to court, you may receive 3 penalty points plus £100 fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Aug-17 @ 1:39 PM
Steve - Your Question:
Hi, I have received a NIP for going 46mph in a 40 mph area.The incident happened on the M4 by junction 27. There are three lanes and the speeds vary often with lanes having different speed limits. Normally at rush hour the limit is 50mph but clearly on this day it changed.Is there any defence in this situation? If I accept it what is the likely fine? ( I undertook a speed awareness course two years ago?Thanks,Steve

Our Response:
No, as long as the signs were clear (not noticing them is not a valid defence), there's not much you can do. The likely penalty is £100 plus 3 penalty points as you've already undertaken a course in the past 3 years.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Aug-17 @ 11:46 AM
Wuthering Heights - Your Question:
Could clear something up for me and my colleague? My friend's just received a letter instructing him that he was over the limit and was doing 78mph on an A road - he was driving a van. I have just looked up national speed limits, as I thought the speed limits were: 30 for rural/built up areas, 60 single carriageway, 60 dual carriageway, 70 motorway. However, it transpires that it is 70mpg for dual carriageway. I am 100% adamant that when I was taught in it is 60, not 70.

Our Response:
This depends on the size of van he was driving. Here is the information you need:
Cars, motorcycles, car-derived vans and dual-purpose vehicles:
Built-up areas mph 30
Single carriageways mph 60
Dual carriageways mph 70
Motorways mph 70
Vans have a lower speed limit than cars and must follow the speed limits for goods vehicles of the same weight. Vehicles over 2 tonnes laden (loaded) weight (and under 7.5 tonnes max laden weight) are subject to the following limits:
Built-up areas mph 30
Single carriageways mph 50
Dual carriageways mph 60
Motorways mph 70
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Aug-17 @ 11:32 AM
Could clear something up for me and my colleague? My friend's just received a letter instructing him that he was over the limit and was doing 78mph on an A road - he was driving a van.I have just looked up national speed limits, as I thought the speed limits were: 30 for rural/built up areas, 60 single carriageway, 60 dual carriageway, 70 motorway. However, it transpires that it is 70mpg for dual carriageway.I am 100% adamant that when I was taught in it is 60, not 70.
Wuthering Heights - 18-Aug-17 @ 11:29 AM
Hi I was issued with a NIP ! Supposedly doing 75 in a 50mph limit in my work vehicle. Never had any points before. Thanks for help if possible.
Smirk - 18-Aug-17 @ 4:23 AM
Hi, I have received a NIP for going 46mph in a 40 mph area. The incident happened on the M4 by junction 27. There are three lanes and the speeds vary often with lanes having different speed limits. Normally at rush hour the limit is 50mph but clearly on this day it changed. Is there any defence in this situation? If I accept it what is the likely fine? ( I undertook a speed awareness course two years ago? Thanks, Steve
Steve - 17-Aug-17 @ 2:57 PM
Shah - Your Question:
Hi I got a NIP yesterday. I was driving 83 mph on 70 mph cuaght by manned camera. What can I do to avoid penalty points. Btw it is my first driving offence. Thanks

Our Response:
This is up to the police unfortunately for you. They will decide whether or not to offer you a place on a speed awareness course (83 is within the recommended guidelines to be offered a place) or whether to impose a fixed penalty fine of £100 plus 3 penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Aug-17 @ 10:19 AM
Hi i got a NIP yesterday. I was driving 83 mph on 70 mph cuaght by manned camera. What can i do to avoid penalty points. Btw it is my first driving offence. Thanks
Shah - 8-Aug-17 @ 11:16 PM
Chantalle - Your Question:
My husband was issued with a speeding ticket 3 months ago and under went the speed awareness course. In the past week he has recieved 2 more speeding tickets in the post- 1 in my car and 1 in his. What will happen if he says he was speeding both times? How many points and what fine would he get?

Our Response:
You haven't said what speed he was doing and in what speed zone, so it's difficult for us to advise on this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Aug-17 @ 2:16 PM
My husband was issued with a speeding ticket 3 months ago and under went the speed awareness course. In the past week he has recieved 2 more speeding tickets in the post-1 in my car and 1 in his. What will happen if he says he was speeding both times? How many points and what fine would he get?
Chantalle - 1-Aug-17 @ 12:48 PM
Hi, I was caught speeding (36 in a 30), ticket issued to wife as she is the owner which to say the least, was a bit frosty with me in our house, I requested the photo, it came and showed me driving (named driver) but the photo was cropped and had what looks like a tree branch across the photo, and no car next to me which there always is on this stretch of road, is it possible the tree would alter the detection of the mobile camera van or a car speeding next to me would register, I am always driving within the limit but I am unsure what to do with either paying or appealing. Cheers
missusbadbooks - 9-Jul-17 @ 1:50 PM
I have just received a NIP for 43 in a 30 zone. First of all I was suspicious, as I had never driven on this road and then realised I was at work(Unfortunately I dont have no ticket as proof). Its therefore impossible that I was driving and also that nobody else was driving also. How do I fill the form out please?
Mari1986 - 22-Jun-17 @ 11:46 PM
Hi got caught i think by a camera van doing between 35 and 40 in a 30 zone in the girlfriends car. Do these vans provide photo evidence if so i am in the limit for the awareness course thanks
ray tupper - 22-Jun-17 @ 10:39 PM
I was caught doing 71 in a 60. It had changed to a single carriage way and I've still thought it was 70mph. As I had to collect something I was caught twice in 20 mins. What do i do? Is there anyway to get it reduced to just one ticket as it is so close together?
Sm - 22-Jun-17 @ 4:59 PM
Azza - Your Question:
Hi I just got caught speeding by a traffic cop. I was doing 80mph in a 50mph on a A road (honesty I didn't realise). What is likely to happen or is there anyway I can appeal it. He was hidden on a slip road didn't know he was there and It was 11:30pm. Can anyone help. Thanks

Our Response:
We can't really help. 80 in a 50 zone will result in a court summons. The fact that you didn't realise the speed camera/policeman was there will not be accepted as a defence. You may be able to plead mitigation if there's a threat to your licence and you need it for work etc. In that case you might want to consider professional legal help.
NoPenaltyPoints - 19-Jun-17 @ 2:46 PM
Hi I just got caught speeding by a traffic cop. I was doing 80mph in a 50mph on a A road (honesty i didn't realise). What is likely to happen or is there anyway i can appeal it. He was hidden on a slip road didn't know he was there and It was 11:30pm. Can anyone help. Thanks
Azza - 16-Jun-17 @ 12:30 AM
Got a NIP today issued by TVP,43 in 30is there anyway they will consider a speed awareness course as I'm 1mph over the cut off? Secondly the camera van was parked on a side road blocking access for any other vehicle could it be contested in these grounds?
MDH - 7-Jun-17 @ 7:45 PM
Ckuk - Your Question:
HiI had a NIP in the post yesterday, I was caught speeding by a gun I suspect and I was doing 49 in a 30 zone, I already have 6 points on my license for non insurance thinking I could drive other persons car that I fully comp.First speeding ticket, what would I expect to happen? Will I lose my license? Im the bread winner in my family and I need to drive!

Our Response:
49mph is just under the guideline limit for a court summons. It's very close however (50mph) and in view of your existing points, the police might decide to take it to court. We can't really tell you what a judge will decide but the new rules suggest that at that speed in a 30mph zone, you might be given a band B fine (75% to 125% of your relevant weekly income) and 4 - 6 penalty points, or a 7 - 28 day ban.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Jun-17 @ 2:09 PM
I live in Thailand and visit the uk occasionally. I have received a notice of a speeding ticket from the car rental company. I drive on a Thai driving licence when in the uk. What are the consequences of ignoring the notice?
Mj9 - 4-Jun-17 @ 11:42 AM
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