Speeding is one of the most common of motoring offences, frequently detected by automatic cameras.


Many people will be offered fixed penalty tickets providing for a financial penalty and three penalty points endorsed on their licence. This may well be an attractive option: you will not receive less than three points for a speeding offence, nor a fine less than £60 and taking the matter to court may expose you to a prosecution claim for court costs.

It is always important to remember, however, that points put on your licence count for "totting up" purposes, for three years, and that most insurance policies require that you inform the insurer of any points awarded against you: they will almost certainly increase your insurance premium. The costs of sustaining a speeding conviction that you could have avoided can therefore be considerable, in the longer term. 

Take a look at this video of me explaining this in more detail.




Speeding offences are typically detected by:

  • automatic roadside speed cameras
  • police operated speed detection devices (speed guns)
  • highway patrol cars with cameras and speed recording devices (VASCAR)


The prosecution must be able to show that the device were approved for purpose, working properly at the time of the alleged speeding offence and was operated correctly.


If you were not stopped at the roadside, a Notice of Intended Prosecution (also known as a "NIP") must be sent to the address of the last registered keeper of the vehicle involved in the speeding offence. Insignificant errors in the Notice of Intended Prosecution will be ignored by the Court - but serious inaccuracies in a Notice of Intended Prosecution can be fatal to a prosecution.

Speed limits must also be signposted: the regulations concerning the requiremrnts for signage may be complex and lengthy - but the general rule is, no signs, no conviction. If you believe the speed limit you are alleged to have exceeded was not properly signposted, you may have a defence. 

The penalty for speeding may range from three points, to disqualification and a hefty fine. The Magistrates' Court operates under mandatory guidelines in sentencing for speeding offences


Sentencing Guidelines for Speeding Offences




Speed Limit  



Your Recorded Speed 

20mph 21-30 31-40 41-50
30mph 31-40 41-50 51-60
40mph 41-55 56-65 66-75
50mph 51-65 66-75 76-85
60mph 61-80 81-90 91-100
70mph 71-90 91-100 101-110






4 - 6






25-75% of your RWI*


75-135% of your RWI*


125-175% of your RWI*






7 - 28 days


7 - 56 days


*RWI is short for Relevant Weekly Income, which is your income after tax and after normal living expenses. The court assumes your Relevant Weekly Income is at least £100 and, if it has no other information, can assume it is up to £350.


If the recorded speed is above those in the table, then there is a high risk that the court may seek to disqualify you.

Whether the court imposes points, or even a ban, will depend on its view of both the seriousness of the speeding offence and of your personal circumstances.