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Challenging a Speeding Fine

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 17 Jan 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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Was caught doing 79 on the a1 motorway. Any way I could get around this? I've had a speed awareness course in the past year for 35 in a 30 as well so that will kill the chances of another...
Billyr1000 - 17-Jan-18 @ 3:11 PM
Ben - Your Question:
I've been caught doing 62mph in an Average 50mph Zone. 2 Passengers in the car and had cruise set at 60mph as I was sure that was the average speed on the M25 motorway at the time. Was around 5am with very little traffic on the road. Once we noticed the flash I immediatly looked for a sign showing the limit and the next one to come along within a few seconds stated 60mph. Received a NIP in the post and have contested. Seeing the evidence they have sent 2 photos one of my car with no speed limit showin and another of the the overhead illuminated 50 signs but my car is not in the picture. I'm certain it was 60mph as well as the passengers in the car. How can I best contest?

Our Response:
Are there times and exact locations included on the photos? You would need some reasonable proof that the signs were not displaying 50, an experienced motoring lawyer might be able to help. We don't really have any answers to the (quite common) problem as yet.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Jan-18 @ 2:37 PM
Sunny - Your Question:
Hi, I was doing 95-100 on the M5 like an idiot, I dont normally speed I was in a rush its no excuse I know I was not paying attention to my speed again no excuse im in the wrong! Problem is I need my car for work and I have only had my license 18 months, I believe this speed I will get 6 points which is DQ can this be appealed with a course a fine an admittance of guilt and my work situation?Thanks.

Our Response:
You will probably receive a court summons, so you may be able to attend, plead guilty and explain why losing your licence would have devasting effect on your lifestyle. Note from the penalty list below it's possible to receive 4 points depending on your speed. It's worth consulting a motoring lawyer for help if you do receive a summons. At court the standard penalty for:
Speeds of 91-100 - band B fine (75%-125% of relevant weekly income) plus 4-6 points or 7 - 28 day ban
Speeds of 101 and above -band C fine (125% - 175% of relevant weekly income) plus 6 points, or a 7 - 56 day ban.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Jan-18 @ 12:39 PM
Helen - Your Question:
I recently received a speeding ticket for exceeding the speed limit of 30mph. However the road up until recently has always been a 40mph road all my life. I did not know the speed limit had been reduced. I know I should of looked out for signs but as I travel on the road several times a week for the last 11 years I just didn’t notice they had ended the 40mph zone in a different place on the road until I revisited the road to check the place where I was caught speeding. Anyway I though I was doing the correct speed now I have my first ever driving offence and I’m gutted, is there anything I can do?

Our Response:
Unfortunately there's not much you can do here..the entry to a 30 mph zone must be marked by a sign but after that you would not see repeater signs etc. Some local authorities put "New Speed Limit in Force" signs where a long standing speed limit is changed, but they are not under any obligation to do this. One thing you could check would be to make sure a Traffic Regulation Order was implemented in the correct way (in order to change the speed limit) - but that might be 'clutching at straws'
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Jan-18 @ 2:55 PM
Pedro Pete- Your Question:
I have received a notice of intended prosecution for doing 65mph whilst on the M25, the variable speed limit had been reduced to 50mph at gone 12 o'clock night due to a report of pedestrians on the 4 lane motorway. I have checked the photographs of the alleged offence but the speed limit signs are illegible on the picture, could I challenge the offence?

Our Response:
Are the speed signs illegible because of the poor quality photo of were they not clear at the time? The police will have other evidence to prove the speed limit at the time, so if the signs were visible when you were driving past them, you won't have success in challenging this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Jan-18 @ 3:18 PM
I've been caught doing 62mph in an Average 50mph Zone. 2 Passengers in the car and had cruise set at 60mph as I was sure that was the average speed on the M25 motorway at the time. Was around 5am with very little traffic on the road. Once we noticed the flash I immediatly looked for a sign showing the limit and the next one to come along within a few seconds stated 60mph. Received a NIP in the post and have contested. Seeing the evidence they have sent 2 photos one of my car with no speed limit showin and another of the the overhead illuminated 50 signs but my car is not in the picture. I'm certain it was 60mph as well as the passengers in the car. How can I best contest?
Ben - 15-Jan-18 @ 9:46 AM
Same guy from below, this happened tonight the camera flashed me i have not had a letter yet, what kind of situation am i looking at? Thanks again.
Sunny - 15-Jan-18 @ 1:19 AM
Hi, I was doing 95-100 on the M5 like an idiot, i dont normally speed i was in a rush its no excuse i know i was not paying attention to my speed again no excuse im in the wrong! Problem is i need my car for work and i have only had my license 18 months, i believe this speed i will get 6 points which is DQ can this be appealed with a course a fine an admittance of guilt and my work situation? Thanks.
Sunny - 15-Jan-18 @ 1:17 AM
I recently received a speeding ticket for exceeding the speed limit of 30mph. However the road up until recently has always been a 40mph road all my life. I did not know the speed limit had been reduced. I know I should of looked out for signs but as I travel on the road several times a week for the last 11 years I just didn’t notice they had ended the 40mph zone in a different place on the road until I revisited the road to check the place where I was caught speeding. Anyway I though I was doing the correct speed now I have my first ever driving offence and I’m gutted, is there anything I can do?
Helen - 13-Jan-18 @ 9:33 PM
I have received a notice of intended prosecution for doing 65mph whilst on the M25, the variable speed limit had been reduced to 50mph at gone 12 o'clock night due to a report of pedestrians on the 4 lane motorway. I have checked the photographs of the alleged offence but the speed limit signs are illegible on the picture, could I challenge the offence?
Pedro Pete - 12-Jan-18 @ 7:05 PM
Pat23 - Your Question:
My father had a speeding letter for doing 25mph at a 20mph locally set speed limit. The sign usually lights up once a car is driving past however it gets delayed in lighting up at times. Is there any way we could get away with this

Our Response:
No it's unlikely that he'd be able to prove he wasn't speeding simply because the sign wasn't illuminating.Themost likely penalty will be 3 points plus £100 fine or a speed awareness course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Jan-18 @ 3:47 PM
Lou - Your Question:
I have been caught doing 71mph in a 40mph on the m32 on my way home from work at 23:58pm as you come down to the end of the motorway camera is new been there 6 months and I thought it was a 60 not 40 I have been sent a letter saying 6 points and fine upto £2500 or a straight ban I have been driving for 5 years what would be the outcome Do you think there make me go court or just do it through a letter and am I likely to get banned?

Our Response:
This will go to court. It will be up to the judge to decide what penalty to issue. If you think you have grounds to appeal or mitigate it may be better to appear in person. Seek advice from a legal professional.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Jan-18 @ 2:11 PM
My father had a speeding letter for doing 25mph at a 20mph locally set speed limit. The sign usually lights up once a car is driving past however it gets delayed in lighting up at times. Is there any way we could get away with this
Pat23 - 11-Jan-18 @ 9:42 AM
I have been caught doing 71mph in a 40mph on the m32 on my way home from work at 23:58pm as you come down to the end of the motorway camera is new been there 6 months and I thought it was a 60 not 40 I have been sent a letter saying 6 points and fine upto £2500 or a straight ban I have been driving for 5 years what would be the outcome Do you think there make me go court or just do it through a letter and am I likely to get banned?
Lou - 10-Jan-18 @ 6:49 PM
channy - Your Question:
I received a NIP for doing 92mph in 70mph on M1 motorway between junction 40 & 39 southbound. It says it was an automatic camera device. I did see the flash but was surprised as the variable speed signs were not showing any speed limit. Previously i've only seen these cameras operational once a variable speed limit is being displayed. I was under the impression this was the case throughout the uk. From googling i've found some sites comment that its up the discretion of the local enforcement on how these cameras operate. Can you confirm? Do I have a case to appeal?

Our Response:
Many "smart" motorway cameras will capture speeding at 70mph as well as variable speeds.If there is no sign displayed, the national speed limit applies, which is why your NIP says 92mph in a 70mph. Not knowing about the existence of a speed camera is no defence unfortunately. You may be lucky and receive a fixed penalty but it's possible you might be issued with court summons.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Jan-18 @ 10:28 AM
Parris - Your Question:
I pass the same 3no speed cameras on the A14 in Essex, and I have been caught doing 79mph on a 70mph dual carriageway, but the signage for the cameras says they are average speed cameras, so I think I was probably doing 79 past this one, but I am certain I was only doing 70mph past the previous one, and I feel certain that I did not accelerate to 79mph immediately and constantly between them, so there's no way my average speed was 79mph. I was also caught doing 79mph on the opposite carriage way 2 years ago, but this was the first camera of the 3, so how could they prosecute me with an average speed camera at the first one? I would probably accept the latest one, but it will take me to 9 penalty points and I have to wait until December for my first 3 to be removed. Advice please, as I'm thinking about challenging this is court.

Our Response:
If you were doing 79mph at any point you can be prosecuted for speeding....did the NIP state that you were captured in an average speed camera area? There may have been other speed cameras in place too.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jan-18 @ 12:12 PM
Kellzzz - Your Question:
Hello I was just going down a dual carriage way which is 50mph. it dropped to 40mph and yes there was accurate signage. I didn't slow down as quickly as I could have and I noticed the speed camera van on the opposite side of the dual carriage way. I'm sure I passed the van at about 48mph. so I have 2 questions. do they allow you any leeway considering the speed dropped down and second is can the van get you on the other side of the road. Thank you

Our Response:
CTC will usually end on the last day of the course, often the day of their last exam. But if they decide to go on to further education, for instance at university, then CTC can continue until 31 August after the end of their course or they reach age 20, whichever is the sooner.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jan-18 @ 10:18 AM
I received a NIP for doing 92mph in 70mph on M1 motorway between junction 40 & 39 southbound. It says it was an automatic camera device. I did see the flash but was surprised as the variable speed signs were not showing any speed limit. Previously i've only seen these cameras operational once a variable speed limit is being displayed. I was under the impression this was the case throughout the uk. From googling i've found some sites comment that its up the discretion of the local enforcement on how these cameras operate. Can you confirm? Do i have a case to appeal?
channy - 5-Jan-18 @ 2:06 AM
I was doing 71 on a dual carriageway sign posted 60mph. I received the NIP via work since it is a company car (after about 2 weeks). I competed the details on the form and returned the NIP late November ......I haven’t heard anything back from the police, have they decided not to pursue? Or is the delay because they will likely take me to court...
Matt - 4-Jan-18 @ 2:36 PM
I pass the same 3no speed cameras on the A14 in Essex, and i have been caught doing 79mph on a 70mph dual carriageway, but the signage for the cameras says they are average speed cameras, so i think i was probably doing 79 past this one, but i am certain i was only doing 70mph past the previous one, and i feel certain that i did not accelerate to 79mph immediately and constantly between them, so there's no way my average speed was 79mph.I was also caught doing 79mph on the opposite carriage way 2 years ago, but this was the first camera of the 3, so how could they prosecute me with an average speed camera at the first one? I would probably accept the latest one, but it will take me to 9 penalty points and i have to wait until December for my first 3 to be removed.Advice please, as i'm thinking about challenging this is court.
Parris - 3-Jan-18 @ 7:33 AM
Hello I was just going down a dual carriage way which is 50mph.. it dropped to 40mph and yes there was accurate signage.. I didn't slow down as quickly as I could have and i noticed the speed camera van on the opposite side of the dual carriage way.. I'm sure I passed the van at about 48mph.. so I have 2 questions.. do they allow you any leeway considering the speed dropped down and second is can the van get you on the other side of the road. Thank you
Kellzzz - 2-Jan-18 @ 12:08 PM
Miss Daisy - Your Question:
I have received an NIP for 100 in a 70 (duel carriageway) via a mobile safety van.I was overtaking a lorry and car at about 80-85 mph on this duel carriageway. As I nearly pulled level with the car he found that he had run of out of road space behind the lorry and he started to move across his lane towards mine. His movement wasn't aggressive but I immediately saw a risk of collision and following defensive driving techniques which I've been tought in the past I immediately increased my speed to pull away and allow him to safely join the outside lane behind me. Keeping the "bubble" around my car as the instructor called it.In doing so I believe I accelerated to about 95 mph and this brought me level with the lorry at which point I then saw a mobile safety camera unit which had been obscured by the lorry up until then. I decelerated at this point but clearly it was too late and I've received this NIP. If I was speeding at 100 mph it was only for a very very short period and it was a defensive move to avoid the car on my nearside and give him safe room for a lane change. It was not indicative of my average speed leading up to the overtake or my general driving style.I have held a license since 1991 and whilst I have been prosecuted for speeding in the past my license has now been clean since about 2006.I am really concerned by this NIP and I'm considering attaching this mitigation with my NIP return or even calling them to try and avoid a court referral. There is no space for additional info on the form and they are simply asking if I was driving or not. My worry is that if I say yes without trying to explain then they will simply send my case to court and given the circumstances I feel a £100 fine or speed awareness course would be reasonable but I don't know how to handle this.Perhaps you have some advice?

Our Response:
It's very likely that a court summons will be issued simply because of the speed at which you were captured on camera. If you want to mitigate, you can only do this via the courts as the police do not have powers to accept representations in this way. A speed awareness course or fixed penalty will not be offered.
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-Jan-18 @ 11:17 AM
Fm93 - Your Question:
My dad was done this week doing 53mph when the variable speed was 40mph. However he and all 4 passengers are convinced the sign showed 60 when he went past it. The sign after he got flashed showed 40. So there was no way he knew the variable speed had dropped further down to 40. Is this common? Can it be challenged? Thanks

Our Response:
To challenge this your father would need to be prepared to attend court. The police would need to be able to prove that the variable speed signs tallied with the speed cameras. A motoring lawyer would be able to gain access to the camera records (you may be able to do this yourself under FOI rules prior to the case).
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-Jan-18 @ 11:12 AM
Hi, I got pulled at 01.20 on saturday morning doing 'over 30' on a long open road. I recieved a written NIP at the scene stating excess speed, but the recorded speed box has not been filled. Its another 3 months until i finish my first 2 years driving and I allready have 3 points. A letter has come asking me to accept 3 points(and lose my licence)or go to court. With the recorded speed box being empty - do I have a good chance of getting off on this technicality ???
Adie - 29-Dec-17 @ 10:48 AM
I have received an NIP for 100 in a 70 (duel carriageway) via a mobile safety van. I was overtaking a lorry and car at about 80-85 mph on this duel carriageway.As I nearly pulled level with the car he found that he had run of out of road space behind the lorry and he started to move across his lane towards mine.His movement wasn't aggressive but I immediately saw a risk of collision and following defensive driving techniques which I've been tought in the past I immediately increased my speed to pull away and allow him to safely join the outside lane behind me.Keeping the "bubble" around my car as the instructor called it. In doing so I believe I accelerated to about 95 mph and this brought me level with the lorry at which point I then saw a mobile safety camera unit which had been obscured by the lorry up until then.I decelerated at this point but clearly it was too late and I've received this NIP.If I was speeding at 100 mph it was only for a very very short period and it was a defensive move to avoid the car on my nearside and give him safe room for a lane change.It was not indicative of my average speed leading up to the overtake or my general driving style. I have held a license since 1991 and whilst I have been prosecuted for speeding in the past my license has now been clean since about 2006. I am really concerned by this NIP and I'm considering attaching this mitigation with my NIP return or even calling them to try and avoid a court referral.There is no space for additional info on the form and they are simply asking if I was driving or not.My worry is that if I say yes without trying to explain then they will simply send my case to court and giventhe circumstances I feel a £100 fine or speed awareness course would be reasonable but I don't know how to handle this. Perhaps you have some advice?
Miss Daisy - 23-Dec-17 @ 11:53 PM
My dad was done this week doing 53mph when the variable speed was 40mph. However he and all 4 passengers are convinced the sign showed 60 when he went past it. The sign after he got flashed showed 40. So there was no way he knew the variable speed had dropped further down to 40. Is this common? Can it be challenged? Thanks
Fm93 - 23-Dec-17 @ 7:19 PM
K - Your Question:
I received an NIP for doing 94 in a 50 zone. This is the new smart motorway near dewsbury M1. At the time there were no signs stating the limit had changed from 70 to 50. The photos show the next set of overhead electronic signs which were not on. Surely if these were the next set they should either show 50 or back to national speed limit sign? I wasn’t driving my partner was and I am sure that he wasn’t travelling at this speed. I actually told him to speed up at one point because he was traveling below 70! These cameras were certified only 2 days prior and I think they’re incorrect. I know it will be impossible to challenge the speed even though I know it’s not right, but there were no signs to say it’s 50.

Our Response:
If there were no signs to say the limit has changed there may be a chance of reducing the penalty. A court summons will certainly be issued so we stronly advise getting professional legal advice on this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 19-Dec-17 @ 12:35 PM
I received a speeding fine saying I was doing 37 in a 30 but I didn’t think I was so I checked the tracker in my vehicle and it says I was doing 28 at the time would this stand against the fine?
Nathanw101 - 18-Dec-17 @ 5:53 PM
Rumak - Your Question:
Hi ive get the letter that I was 61mph and there was 50mph limit this is the average speed limit. Can I challege this or not?? What can be the fine?? Can I go to the course??

Our Response:
Why would you be able to challenge it? You haven't given us any information on that sorry. 61mph is within the recommended guidelines to be offered a course, but these are always offered at the discretion of the police so it's not a certainty.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Dec-17 @ 11:47 AM
Also to add to my previous comment, the NIP states the location as M1 ‘tbc’surely they should have to state the exact location?
K - 17-Dec-17 @ 9:37 AM
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