There are a number of driving offences that incur instant fines and these will usually be given in the form a Fixed Penalty Notice. But the UK police may soon have additional powers to fine motorists who drive carelessly in a bid to make British roads safer.
Instant Fines and Fixed Penalty Notices
Fixed penalty notices (FPN) are applied for certain driving offences and can included penalty points and fines. There are three different fixed penalty notices; endorsable, non-endorsable and conditional. A non-endorsable (FPN) will be applied for minor offences and should not result in penalty points but a fine (£30) will be applied. An endorsable FPN will mean penalty points are applied to a licence and the fine will be £60. A conditional FPN usually involves the use of speed cameras and a Notice of Prosecution (NIP) through the post and comes with a £60 fine and three penalty points.
Some Fixed Penalty Notices May Mean Court Action
A conditional FPN can mean a quick fine and penalty points applied to a driver caught speeding but for more serious speeding offences a court summons may be warranted. If a speed camera has detected that a vehicle is travelling at excessive speed above the limit then no conditional FPN will be supplied. A threshold speed limit does apply and if this is broken then the offence will automatically turn into court prosecution. The driver will receive a summons to appear in court. Legal representation is advised if a summons to appear in court is applied.
Paying an Instant Fine for Driving Offences
Fixed penalty notices do come with instant fines. For minor driving offences the fine will be £30 whereas most speeding offences will be £60. Although these are classed as instant fines the police cannot make drivers pay up when they are stopped. If drivers agree to the fixed penalty notice they have 28 days to pay. If the fine isn’t paid within this time limit then the fine will increase by 50%. Drivers who have been caught speeding on camera and do not pay the fine within 28 days will be reported for prosecution.
Driving Offence Types and Instant Fines
Non-endorsable fixed penalty notices will include driving offences such as driving a car with a damaged headlight or driving without a seatbelt. These are seen as minor driving offences and include parking offences. Endorsable and conditional fixed penalty notices will usually be for more serious driving offence such as speeding. Endorsable offences could also include driving through red traffic lights. Many of the endorsable and conditional driving offences are speeders caught via speed cameras.
New Police Powers for Instant Fines
The government is hoping to push new legislation through Parliament that will give the UK police additional powers to fine motorists for driving offences. Presently, motorists who commit careless driving offences are prosecuted through the courts but this may change. The government wants to free up court time by giving police the power to fine reckless and careless drivers on the spot. The intended fine for careless driving offences will be £80 plus three penalty points applied to the offender’s licence. Offenders do still have the choice of whether to take the matter to court if they do not accept the fixed penalty notice and wish to challenge the offence.
Disputing a Fixed Penalty Notice
Drivers are well within their rights to decide not to accept either the instant fine or the penalty points that may be applied to a licence. A driver can refuse the FPN within 28 days and request a court hearing. Legal advice should be sought on this matter as once the offer of a FPN is refused and court action is taken there may be a more severe punishment for drivers found guilty. It is important that the driver makes it known that they are intending to reject the FPN. Simply doing nothing within this time is actually accepting the FPN and can lead to a suspension of a licence, court hearing and a fine.
Many drivers do think they can accept the fine and penalty points put also plead mitigation. Mitigation will not apply to a fixed penalty notice as it is a conditional offer with no flexibility. Basically the driver has two choices; accept the FPN or argue the case in court. According to many law experts the FPN is the better deal than taking a chance on appearing in court. If the case is unsuccessful the offender will have to pay legal fees, and the punishment will usually be much higher than the FPN. It will be up to the driver to decide whether or not to take that chance.
I have been issued a conditional offer of fixed penalty for an endorsable offence (using phone whilst driving). The offer states that the penalty includes endorsement points on my license but does not say how many. I already have 6 points and I think that from 1 March the new points for driving on phone is 6 points. Will I definitely get 6 points?
Should the letter not say how many points on it?
Wally - 21-Apr-17 @ 10:29 AM
My son received a NIP for driving 51mph in a 40mph roadworks area late at night on the A9 coming home from Elgin. It is 4 weeks since he sent back his form but no prosecution has taken place as yet. How long does it take for them to get back with the actual fine etc?
Kim Somerville - 10-Feb-17 @ 4:42 PM
I had recently randomly checked by the police while going home from the destist. One of my tyre has a cut on the side but the threads are legal. Obviously it was my mistake that i didnt check my tyres but i asked the officer that time if i can just go to the nearest garage which is just 2mins away and change it and go backand they can come with me aswell to make sure i will do it but they refuse and now i have this £100 notice and 3 points. No other option. Is there a way out of this something like car safety awareness course?
Gilj - 24-Jan-17 @ 1:15 PM
My wife just had a letter saying she was doing 24 in a 20 what is the punishment for that thanks
Marsim - 14-Oct-16 @ 3:32 PM
My son has been issued a £100 fine for what the office saying reg plate fails to conform, but the car has passed its test with it on and we have proof that the plate is to the bs standard. Should we pay it or take it to court
Only me - 12-Oct-16 @ 11:21 PM
aggie - Your Question:
My gran daughter has just been fined £100 and given 3 penalty points for driving with only 1 L plate. The other one having blown off. Is this the usual penalty for this offence
Yes you can be given up to 6 penalty points for not displaying L plates.
NoPenaltyPoints - 26-Sep-16 @ 2:17 PM
My gran daughter has just been fined £100 and given 3 penaltypoints for driving with
only 1 L plate. The other one having blown off. Is this the usual penalty for this offence
aggie - 24-Sep-16 @ 8:44 PM
I am currently writing an account of being a police officer in the mid 1950s. I can remember issuing some form of parking ticket at that time but am unable to find the actual legislation that first introduced fixed penalty tickets in the 1950scan anyone help?
lesbar - 9-Mar-16 @ 11:34 AM
I was in the car with a friend who is a learner and he crossed the red light purely because we didnt know the area . What should we expect
Anab - 26-Dec-15 @ 9:55 AM
Just had notice of 67 in a 50 what can i expect has a fine
nipper - 2-Nov-15 @ 4:33 PM
Dee - Your Question:
Just received NIP doing 41 in a 30. What can I expect? Clean licence ATM and never had an NIP before
You make be fortunate enough to be offered a speed awareness course as the upper limit for this is 42mph. It is however, at the discretion of the police who may consider 3 points and £100 fine more appropriate.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-Oct-15 @ 2:51 PM
just received NIP doing 41 in a 30. What can I expect? Clean licence ATM and never had an NIP before
Dee - 21-Oct-15 @ 12:22 PM
Received a notice of £100 fine and 3 points on license due to doing 48 in a 40 and caught by automatic camera. Why am I not being offered advance driving course instead as an alternative? 48 in a 40 seems excessive for a fine and points
Sillyboy - 16-Oct-15 @ 7:59 PM
Have not heard from the police in six months does the means I got off
gman - 26-Jul-15 @ 12:45 AM
@raymondo. Is your son sure that the police officer did not have a handheld monitor at the time? Some of them are not that big, so maybe he wouldn't have noticed especially as he would have been in the car at the time.
NoPenaltyPoints - 14-Jul-15 @ 10:21 AM
Son was pulled over by the police and given a £50 fine for having a noisy exhaust. Car was bought from a garage and mot'd with the exhaust.
Police officer said the exhaust was too noisy, the officer did not test the exhaust other than to get my son to rev his car. He was also instructed to have the exhaust changed or risk further fines.
I would have thought that there should be some testing involved as what's loud to one person may not be to another, I have checked with my local garage and they have also said that there should have been a noise test as anyone could say it was loud or not. He has had the exhaust changed but still has to pay £50.
Raymondo - 8-Jul-15 @ 10:12 AM
@Danny. Not easily. If you were to contest it in court with a good legal representative, you may manage to avoid the points, but that would be costly.
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-Apr-15 @ 12:04 PM
I have just been pulled over by undercover police. Given £ 100 fine plus 3points on my license. I was pulled over for reconnecting my handset to my phone. I admitted that yes I should have pulled over to do it. The policeman looked through my phone to confirm what I was saying and check my texts and calls. I offered to pay the fine on the spot as 3points will effect my job as I'm not allowed any points. I have been driving for over 10years and nothing on my license. Is there anything I can do to not get the points? This will ruin my livelyhood and I have2children. Is there a course I can take or bigger fine or something instead of points? I will do anything!
Danny - 1-Apr-15 @ 8:21 PM
@Aloha. It would be best to simply accept the fine. Not knowing an area is not an excuse for driving through a red light.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Nov-14 @ 11:04 AM
Have just received a letter that I went through a red light,the photo was taken , in a town that I hadn't visited before, should I accept the fine and penalty points, or should I write and explain that I did not know the town and thought it was safer to carry on as the lights changed and it was more dangerous to stop with possible on coming traffic
Aloha - 11-Nov-14 @ 8:57 PM
Are driving fines balanced and fair in your opinion? Are there alternative punishments? Can we do more to ensure that a fairer approach is taken?
Halit - 11-Aug-14 @ 2:52 PM
@OB. If you believe you have been wrongly fined, then you should appeal. A traffic officer would have had to have seen your wife/children without their seatbelts on. If they were loosened to an extent that they would not have protected them in a collision then maybe you were correctly fined though. Unfortunately it's your word against theirs.
NoPenaltyPoints - 1-Jul-14 @ 2:42 PM
I was issued with a fixed penalty fine of £100! by a traffic officer on a motorbike on a 30 mph road. The road traffic officer stated that there was nothing wrong with my driving, everything was fine but that my two year old child who was sitting on the back sit with my wife had no seat belt. My wife confirm the sit belt was on, but was loosen when the traffice officer pulled me over for questioning.
The Traffice officer still went ahead and issued me with a fixed fine of £100 despite all my appeals.
What is your advise in this case?