Don’t drive like Jay Kay; you’ll only come in second
New speeding fines
You will probably have heard about the new speeding fine regime that took effect on Monday.
I often wonder where these changes emanate come from. To me, they just seem to arrive out of the (boys in) blue and be presented to the likes of you and me as “fait accompli”. We don’t get consulted and only get to hear about them when they come into force. But perhaps that’s because we’re not all paid up subscribers to The Sentencing Councils Journal.
But I’d dearly like to know which quango thought this latest one up. Apparently any evidence that the threat of increased fines make us drive slower or safer is scant. The main deterrent is the fear of actually being caught.
“Hey chaps we could do with a bit more money so let’s whack the motorist again”
Yes, let’s make the life of the good old motorist even more miserable. He already has to endure an unprecedented increase in the volume of traffic over the last decade and potholes the size of dustbin lids making it harder to drive anywhere fast anyway.
The three speeding bands
Basically the amount of the fine is now determined by which of the three speeding “bands” you fall into:-
Band A – If you are travelling at up to 20 mph above speed limit
Or Band B – 21-30 mph above speed limit
Or Band C – 31 and over above speed limit.
The fines for the bands
The fines that apply to each of these bands are:-
Band A an average of half of your weekly earnings + 3 penalty points
Band B an average of one week of your earnings (+ 4-6 penalty points OR 7-28 days disqualification)
Band C an average of one and a half weeks earnings (+ 6 penalty points OR 7-56 days disqualification)
Understanding the weekly earnings
So how does the weekly earnings work I hear you ask? What if I’m unemployed and on benefits?
Well for a start, the fine is capped at £1000 for speeding on normal roads or £2500 on motorways. So this change isn’t really going to deter the likes of Jay Kay if he’s tempted to continue practising on his drive home having ONLY managed second fastest on the Top Gear test track last week.
The weekly income for this purpose is calculated as follows:-
- If your income is below £120 a week (after deductions for tax and NI) or you only receive state benefits and have no other earnings then the fine is calculated on £120. That’s presumably to ensure that there is always a minimum fine and that you can’t be fined zero!
- If you fail to provide details of your income then the court can use its discretion but a figure of £440 a week, being the current average weekly earnings is likely to be assumed. So if like Jay Kay, you earn more than £440 a week……well draw your own conclusion!
Of course it’s never quite as simple as that and there are a number of other factors that the court will take into account such as whether you have pleaded guilty or are an exemplary human being.
Like Jay Kay.
If you interested in playing around with different scenarios so you can work out what you are up against there is an interesting online calculator here:-