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Challenging a Speeding Fine

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 19 May 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Speeding Fine Speeding Ticket Speed

Speeding tickets can result in a variety of fines and penalty points depending on the offender’s driving history. But there are ways to legally challenge a speeding fine under certain circumstances.

Speeding Offence Points and Penalties

A first offender can receive a £100 fine and three to six Penalty Points. But fines can be larger than this depending on the circumstances, and fines can even hit one and half times your salary if you are caught travelling over 51 mph in a 30mph area with a maximum £1000. Guilty offenders who are offered a fixed penalty will usually have their licence endorsed with a minimum number of penalty points and a £100 fine. Court appearances can be a risky option and may bring increased penalty points and fines, and can even mean disqualification under certain circumstances. Speeding offences with penalty points will also mean that Insurance Premiums are likely to increase.

Speeding Offences Statistics

According to a recent Home Office report there are around 2.3 million motoring offence court appearances per year in the UK. Around 191,000 people are Disqualified for Motoring Offences per year and 33,200 motorists are disqualified using the penalty points system. It has also been reported that £600 million in speeding tickets have been incorrectly applied to motorists in the UK. Only 1% of motorists actually challenge their speeding tickets. The £2,500 cost to hire a solicitor to challenge a speeding fine may be one of the reasons why people do not usually challenge the tickets.

Challenging a Speeding Fine

Successfully challenging a speeding ticket can actually occur under certain circumstances. The first point will be to check that all details on the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) are correct. The NIP should include the vehicle’s details, and details such as the time, date and location of the speeding offence. An NIP also comes with a 14 day time limit; this means the alleged offender has received the NIP within 14 days of the offence occurring plus postage time. Be aware that small errors such as typography errors on the NIP will not be grounds for challenging a speeding fine.

Speed Cameras and Speeding Fines

If a Speed Camera was the method used to capture the speeding offence then it may be a good idea to return to the scene. Check that speed limit signs are evident and are placed on both sides of the road. Also check that the speed limits signs are highly visibly and not obscured by obstructions such as trees or bushes. If this is the case then evidence should be taken such as photographic records of the obstructions.

Request Proof of the Speeding Offence

Motorists who are certain they were not speeding can request copies of the photographs taken by the speed cameras. Motorists can also request any other evidence that will be used by the prosecution. Where speed cameras are concerned there is usually no requirement of any back-up evidence to exist. If a mechanical device was used to assess the speeding offence, such as a radar gun or police car’s speedometer, then a record of evidence plus a signed certificate by an authority must exist.

Defences Used to Challenge a Speeding Ticket

There are some defences that can be used to challenge a speeding ticket. These can include:

  • Incorrect details on the NIP
  • That the alleged offender was not driving the car at the time of the offence
  • That the alleged offender was in an exempted vehicle attending an emergency
  • That the vehicle was a company van and the alleged offender was not driving, proof will usually be needed
  • That a family member was driving at the time
  • Incorrect or absent road signs

Mitigating Circumstances and Speeding Offences

An offender who is pleading guilty may find it worthwhile to use mitigating circumstances to reduce the sentence level. Mitigating circumstances can include specific reasons for speeding including medical emergencies. Pleading that hardship will apply if disqualification is intended might also mean the sentence is reduced. Hardship can include the likely loss of a job if disqualified. Hardship can also mean that family members such as sick family members will be adversely affected with regards to family transportation means.

Challenging a speeding fine is a risky option and is the reason why so few motorists do use this route. Anyone who is considering challenging a speeding ticket should seek legal advice from a professional. A solicitor or lawyer will be able to assess the case and evidence, and the likelihood of actually successfully challenging the alleged offence.

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Hi, I have been cached on hand held camera doing 35 on 30, Im sure I have been going 30 and now Im planing to contest the fine and points. I have done some reading about it and I know that the speed gun should be set up in right angle and straight line so reading is accurate, I have a pictures from Police proving that camera was moving at the time of speed check so the officer holding it as it was on bend uphill road. My question will be can I contest that as camera was not placed in one place so reading might be inaccurate, also Certificate of calibration shows last calibration in 13 December 2017 ?
Adi - 19-May-18 @ 2:01 PM
Please advise...I received a NIP from a mobile camera van and asked for the photographic evidence. The first photo shows: the date, the actual time, a time (which I think may be the camera running time), a distance in m (which I think may be the distance from the van's location), and a speed. The second photo shows: the date, the actual time, a time (which I think may be the camera running time), BUT no distance or speed stated on the second photo. How can they calculate the speed if there is no distance? ( from the formula Speed = Distance / Time) I recall being within the speed limit for quite some time before I passed the van. Should I do anything further or accept the first photo as their evidence? Any help appreciated.
EH - 18-May-18 @ 3:39 PM
AKS - Your Question:
I was slowing down from a 30mph zone to a 20mph zone and was caught doing 24mph by a parked police speeding van. Is this enforceable?

Our Response:
Yes why wouldn't it be? If you were travelling at more than 20mph once you entered the 20 mph zone you were exceeding the speed limit.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-May-18 @ 10:13 AM
I was slowing down from a 30mph zone to a 20mph zone and was caught doing 24mph by a parked police speeding van. Is this enforceable?
AKS - 14-May-18 @ 4:18 PM
ben - Your Question:
I was done by a speeding camera for 38mph in a 20mph in my work van on 04 October 2017, I received notice of intended prosecution on 24 October 2017 I filled in the form and sent it back on 06 November 2017, I did not hear anything from them until 29 March 2018 when they sent me plead forms. because of the long length of time without an correspondence do I have basis of appeal?

Our Response:
Possibly...it depends when the police lodged the papers with the courts. It might be worth seeking legal advice to see ifthis can be used as a reason to throw the case out.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-May-18 @ 3:42 PM
i was done by a speeding camera for 38mph in a 20mph in my work van on 04 October 2017, I received notice of intended prosecution on 24 October 2017 i filled in the form and sent it back on 06 November 2017, i did not hear anything from them until 29 March 2018 when they sent me plead forms. because of the long length of time without an correspondence do i have basis of appeal?
ben - 7-May-18 @ 10:20 AM
On a clear Sunday at mid day with no pedestrians around driving on a 30 limit road I noticed A police bike and mobile camera setup in front of a tree.At approx 100 yards away I broke but I wasn't going quickly anyway and went past the camera at about 25mph. In truth I gave the policeman a sarcastic wave as I could not understand why you would site a mobile camera in this location with barely any markings other than to catch people out. The fixed glare he returned made even my daughter comment as to "what is his problem", you certainly would not display that attitude to people were you not hiding behind the protection of the uniform. We are a hotspot for these mobile camera's in North Yorkshire they seem to have them at inappropriate low risk places and it is very annoying for many of the locals as it appears law abiding people who do not drive recklessly are being setup to fail by the police force. It is not a mutually supportive environment. Anyway to my shock today I received a prosecution letter 35mph in a 30mph zone.Given I was given a death stare by the officer I would like to see the evidence involved here as I am certain I was not going at the speed as I saw the officer way up the road but having foolishly waved I think this speed has been concocted as a punishment. I have previously supported the police on a number of matters but this seems very suspect to me, I feel this is a fine for waving at a policeman rather than for speeding. The conclusion is that I will have to take a day of work and pay £85 a total cost of over £300 for something I feel I have not done but I gather I have no way of seeing the Police evidence involved unless I spend 2K on a legal challenge. So it would appear you may well be at the mercy of what mood the officer is in on that particular day or is there another way of obtaining evidence, or do the police act with near impunity on these matters.
Hayb - 4-May-18 @ 3:24 PM
I have just received a penalty notice from a variable motorway camera on the M25, before junction 14 going clockwise towards Heathrow,it says I was doing 55mph and the limit on the Gantry was showing as 40 mph. The photographs on the notice show my car before the Gantry and it appears my brakes were being applied to slow down after the Gantry and the camera. Do I have any grounds to appeal as these limits can appear at short notice, to brake heavily to get below a limit could prove more dangerous?
Volvo driver - 3-May-18 @ 11:22 PM
Scott- Your Question:
It’s a variable speed limit on the M4 between juction 19 and 20during April 2018 I had seen one 60mph limit sign before junction 19 it may have been between 17 to 18 or 18 to 19. I never saw another sign to say the 60mph limit had continued or ended. I received a speeding fine between junction 19 to 20 not having seen any speed restrictions signs telling me it was a 60mph limit for the whole of the stretch. I was doing 69mph. I consider myself a vigilant person so maybe I might have missed 1 sign telling me it was a 60mph limit but not all of them. I remember saying to my wife between 19 and 20 there’s no 60 signs anywhere and presumed it must have been 70mph. Since driving on different motorways I’ve noticed that not all restrictions do make it clear they have ended. So by law how often should speed signs be displayed and how can I prove there wasn’t any signs? Many thanks Scott

Our Response:
We think the signs should really be displayed on all overhead gantries until the national speed limit is back in force.
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-May-18 @ 2:46 PM
John - Your Question:
Hi I am register keeper and barrow one car and van to friend to move their home.I received ticket and fine and offer work shop for both car and van in the same time.I know his previous house and name.After passing his detail to police ,.if he does not accept or reply to fine , what would happen to me?Thanks

Our Response:
If your friend doesn't respond, your will have to attend court and explain. We can't really say what a judge would decide.
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-May-18 @ 12:15 PM
It’s a variable speed limit on the M4 between juction 19 and 20 during April 2018 I had seen one 60mph limit sign before junction 19 it may have been between 17 to 18 or 18 to 19. I never saw another sign to say the 60mph limit had continued or ended. I received a speeding fine between junction 19 to 20 not having seen any speed restrictions signs telling me it was a 60mph limit for the whole of the stretch. I was doing 69mph. I consider myself a vigilant person so maybe I might have missed 1 sign telling me it was a 60mph limit but not all of them. I remember saying to my wife between 19 and 20 there’s no 60 signs anywhere and presumed it must have been 70mph. Since driving on different motorways I’ve noticed that not all restrictions do make it clear they have ended. So by law how often should speed signs be displayed and how can I prove there wasn’t any signs? Many thanks Scott
Scott - 29-Apr-18 @ 10:37 PM
Hi I am register keeper and barrow one car and van to friend to move their home. I received ticket and fine and offer work shop for both car and van in the same time. I know his previous house and name . After passing his detail to police ,.if he does not accept or reply to fine , what would happen to me? Thanks
John - 29-Apr-18 @ 1:26 PM
Pip - Your Question:
The ticket has my first name spelled with two LL’s instead of one L.Does this invalidate the ticket ?

Our Response:
No, this would be covered by the "slip rule" which allows for typographical errors.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-Apr-18 @ 3:39 PM
The NIP states I was driving from Point A to point B, the side the mobile van was parked on, however I was heading on the opposite side of the bypass from point B towards Point A, would this be grounds for appeal? Thanks.
Paul - 24-Apr-18 @ 10:58 PM
The ticket has my first name spelled with two LL’s instead of one L. Does this invalidate the ticket ?
Pip - 23-Apr-18 @ 9:21 PM
I received a NIP for the M20 in Kent. At the time roadworks were BEING set up but not due to come into effect until at least 40 mins after I was caught. The speed limit signs were changing from 50 to 40 when I as photographed. Would i have a case to contest as there was no roadworks in place at the time
davidrichards27 - 21-Apr-18 @ 11:50 AM
I have received a notice of intended prosecution for 37 in a 30. It is my first offence in 13 years of driving. I genuinely thought the speed limit was 40 mph and was recorded at 37 however the road is a 30mph limit. The road was the A644 by the Keelham Farm shop. Keighley road A629 is a 50 mph limit then you turn right at the traffic lights onto Thornton Road B6145 which is a 40 mph which then goes into a 30mph limit. You then turn right again onto the A644 which is obviously a different road and there are absolutely no speed limit signs. Its not a built up area the only building is the farm shop I just assumed (wrongly) that it was a 40 mph road there are lampposts on the road but I didn’t think they were that close together. I am just wondering how a speed van can record speeds when there are no road signs at all about the speed limit on a completely new road.
ZLP - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:58 PM
MB - Your Question:
The road leading to the junction is a built up area and has 40 mph signs. The main road where I live is a built up area with street lights and is 40 mph until you come to a mini roundabout and then goes into a 30 mph. The road at the junction is a main road coming from Ludlow. All I’m saying is if your on a 40 mph road and come to a junction surely there should be speed signs for the road you are turning onto.

Our Response:
If the speed of the road lowers to a 30mph, a sign should be displayed. You may need to seek legal advice if one is not in place in the area to which you refer.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Apr-18 @ 2:05 PM
The road leading to the junction is a built up area and has 40 mph signs. The main road where I live is a built up area with street lights and is 40 mph until you come to a mini roundabout and then goes into a 30 mph. The road at the junction is a main road coming from Ludlow. All I’m saying is if your on a 40 mph road and come to a junction surely there should be speed signs for the road you are turning onto.
MB - 13-Apr-18 @ 1:30 PM
MB - Your Question:
Just been issued a fine doing 36 mph. At a junction coming into Leominster I turned right towards a roundabout about 200m from the junction on that 200m stretch there are no speed limit signs or speed camera signs so you don’t know your in a 30 mph zone. How can this be right to fine people if there are no speed limit signs and if your not from the area how are you supposed to know?

Our Response:
When you learn to drive you are taught about speed limits. In general if it's a built up area, with street lighting and no speed limits signs, you know you are in a 30mph speed limit zone. Uk speed limits are as follows:
Built-up areas 30 mph
Single carriageways 60 mph
Dual carriageways 70
Motorways70
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Apr-18 @ 12:26 PM
Pete - Your Question:
I received a NIP the other day.the thing is I passed the van doing the speed limit.i was behind another vehicle and as we approached the 60 again I accelerated before leaving the 30 and was caught at 47.i was long passed the van it would have got the rear of my car there could easily have been other vehicles on the road and I was less than afew 100 yards from the 60 limit.do I have any case to appeal??

Our Response:
We're not sure on what grounds you're thinking an appeal would be successful? If you do not think you were really doing 47mph then of course you should consider contesting it but you would need to prove that you weren't speeding. Speed cameras are quite sophisticated nowadays so it's unlikely that either of your theories could be used to any level of success. An experienced motoring lawyer would be able to tell you one way or the other.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Apr-18 @ 10:30 AM
Just been issued a fine doing 36 mph. At a junction coming into Leominster I turned right towards a roundabout about 200m from the junction on that 200m stretch there are no speed limit signs or speed camera signs so you don’t know your in a 30 mph zone. How can this be right to fine people if there are no speed limit signs and if your not from the area how are you supposed to know?
MB - 11-Apr-18 @ 9:56 PM
I received a NIP the other day.the thing is I passed the van doing the speed limit.i was behind another vehicle and as we approached the 60 again I accelerated before leaving the 30 and was caught at 47.i was long passed the van it would have got the rear of my car there could easily have been other vehicles on the road and I was less than afew 100 yards from the 60 limit.do I have any case to appeal??
Pete - 11-Apr-18 @ 1:46 PM
Kie - Your Question:
I recently received a NIP whilst traveling through a variable speed limit. I was traveling NB m4 J23/24. It doesn’t state in the speeding ticket what the variable speed was? Just how fast I was going. So I’m unsure of what the actual speed limit was at the time. Is this a misprint on NIP, or do they not need to state the speed limit at the time of the event?

Our Response:
We're not sure whether this is a requirement or not. We do hear of NIPs being issued without details of the actual speed limit. The rules seem to be that an NIP must "contain sufficient information for the offence to be identified."
or
NIP must be sent "specifying the nature of the alleged offence and the time and place where it is alleged to have been committed to the driver, registered keeper of the vehicle "
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Apr-18 @ 10:53 AM
Stel - Your Question:
Hi I received a speeding fine but the time frame of the alleged offence is wrong. What does this mean? Information is invalid? Thanks

Our Response:
How much does it differ by? Were you not there at the time? i.e could this be someone else driving your car? If it's just a minor slip or a typographical error, it will not be sufficient grounds to contest.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Apr-18 @ 11:46 AM
I recently received a NIP whilst traveling through a variable speed limit. I was traveling NB m4 J23/24. It doesn’t state in the speeding ticket what the variable speed was? Just how fast I was going. So I’m unsure of what the actual speed limit was at the time. Is this a misprint on NIP, or do they not need to state the speed limit at the time of the event?
Kie - 9-Apr-18 @ 9:02 AM
I received an nip whilst driving a company vehicle. I completed the form accepting I was the driver and was doing the 72 in a 60. The follow up nip which came to my home address displayed the same time/place and date but said I was doing 62 in a 50. Am I in a position to now argue this?
Steve - 7-Apr-18 @ 4:02 PM
Hi I received a speeding fine but the time frame of the alleged offence is wrong. What does this mean? Information is invalid?Thanks
Stel - 6-Apr-18 @ 11:37 PM
Steve - Your Question:
Hi,I've got a speeding ticket from a motorway gantry which was switched off near Bristol at 4am. I was allegedly travelling at 82mph.1. On inspection of the supplied camera test certificate it appears to be a forgery - at least in the sense that the signatures of the camera inspectors have been cut and pasted into the PDF - ie it is not a scanned document showing an original signature.2. Does the lack of illuminated gantry sign mean there was no correct signage?I'm now being asked to pay the £100 fine or go to court - how should I proceed?

Our Response:
If a gantry sign is not illuminated you can assume the national speed limit applies. You were therefore speeding. We can't comment on the validity of the test certificate; if you wanted to claim the cameras had not been tested, you'd need to appoint an expert to help you.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Apr-18 @ 12:38 PM
T - Your Question:
Do mobile speed camera vans have to be parked in a clear place free of obstruction? Or can they hid from sight.? The van in question was parked between cars and no visible. Causing cars to surely brake and I had to swerve to avoid these cars causing me to get caught just over the 40mph limit.

Our Response:
No, lack of visibility would not be a reason for the police not to prosecute. You should not need to swerve to avoid braking cars.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Apr-18 @ 12:00 PM
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