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Penalty for Exceeding Legal Limits

As a rule, the penalty for speeding in a 20mph zone will be less than it would be if you get caught speeding on a motorway in the United Kingdom.

This guide explains what fines you get from speeding penalties and how many penalty points will go on a driving licence for breaking the speed limits.

What is the Punishment for Speeding UK?

The Official Highway Code states the legal limits for how fast you can travel in certain vehicles and on different road types.

Speeding limits are set in law to help keep road users safe. Exceeding the maximums is illegal in the United Kingdom.

As a result, the minimum penalty you can get for breaking the speed limit is £100 fine and at least three (3) penalty points added to your driver licence.

Furthermore, you can get disqualified from driving on public roads and highways if you build up twelve (12) points within a three (3) year period. Even so, a driver's licence is not a legal requirement to drive a vehicle off-road when it is on private land.

This part is important:

New drivers who accumulate six (6) or more penalty points during the first two years of passing the driving test will have their licence cancelled (revoked) by automatic process.

What happens if a new driver has their licence withdrawn? If so, they would need to apply for a new provisional licence (and pay the fee). Also, they would need to take and pass the theory and practical tests again.

Note: You can view or share your driving licence information on the GOV.UK website (e.g. to check if there are penalty points on your licence).

What if You Get Caught by a Speed Camera?

When a speed camera catches a vehicle breaking the national speed limits, it will flash and activate the speeding penalty process.

Next, and it must occur within fourteen (14) days of being caught by a speed camera, the registered keeper will receive:

The person who was driving the vehicle, or secretary if it was a company vehicle, should return the Section 172 notice within twenty eight (28) days).

Here's how it works:

It gives you an opportunity to inform the police about who was driving the vehicle. But, failing to return a Section 172 notice means they will refer the case to a local magistrates court.

After you respond to the notice, and determined by the recorded speed of the vehicle, the driver will receive one of the following:

Speed Camera Activation Letters

There are several steps you should follow if you receive a speed camera activation letter or notice from the police.

In some cases, they may offer you the opportunity to attend a National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme course. But, most drivers who get caught speeding receive a conditional offer of a £100 fixed penalty along with three (3) penalty points added to their licence.

High Speed Limit Offences

The police consider some recordings as 'high speed' and will refer them directly to court. The form still needs to be completed and it will result in a court summons.

Note: What if you already have nine (9) penalty points on your driver's licence? If so, you still need to complete, sign, and return the notice within 28 days. In some cases, you may qualify for a driver awareness course offered under the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme.

What if You Get Stopped by the Police?

Penalty for Exceeding Legal Speed Limits in the United Kingdom.If the police stop you in relation to a speeding incident, they can:

Getting a Fixed Penalty Notice

If You Choose to Plead Guilty

If you receive an FPN as a speeding penalty you have a choice of pleading guilty or pleading not guilty. In most cases, pleading guilty will result in a £100 fine and three (3) points added to your licence.

There are several ways to pay the fine. Depending on where you got caught speeding, you should be able to pay:

Note: The penalty points (endorsements) section explains more about a code that stays on a licence for four (4) years.

If You Choose to Plead Not Guilty

Pleading not guilty means you would need to go to court. It is important to be aware that the court can increase the fine and the number of penalty points if they decide you were guilty of going faster than the legal limits.

The total amount that you get fined will depend on how high the speed limit was and how much you were driving above it. As a general rule, they fine you a percentage of your weekly income (up to £1,000 maximum or £2,500 for speeding on a motorway).

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