If you have received a summons or Notice of Intended Prosecution for a speeding offence then we are here to listen and advise you — contact us now!
If you exceed the legal speed limit you face prosecution for Speeding or in severe cases Dangerous Driving.
There are a number of different speeding offences which depend on the type of road on which you are traveling, any temporary limits in force (e.g. because of road works) and any particular limits that may apply to your vehicle.
If the prosecution can establish that a speed limit applies they must then prove that the defendant was the driver and that they exceeded the speed limit.
There is a general rule applying to speeding offences that a driver should not be prosecuted, or convicted, for speeding on the evidence of one witness’s opinion, with no corroboration. There is an exception regarding breach of the overall speed limit on a motorway. However in practical terms the requirement for corroboration is usually satisfied by the use of specialist equipment. Accordingly you can be convicted on the evidence of a single police officer using correctly calibrated authorised equipment in the correct manner. It can be difficult (but not impossible) to challenge the accuracy of speed check equipment.
A Notice of Intended Prosecution may be required, particularly if the driver was not stopped at the time of the alleged offence. Any failure to provide such Notice may prove fatal to any subsequent prosecution.
Speeding attracts between 2 and 6 penalty points, a fine and discretionary disqualification if dealt with by a Court. If the police choose to issue a fixed penalty notice this will attract 3 penalty points. A prompt “guilty” plea may attract a discount on the fine.
It is always a defence to a speeding charge that the facts alleged are incorrect, that the speed was not in excess of the relevant speed limit and / or that the accused was not the driver at the time in question. There are other specific defences such as necessity, that the equipment used to record the speed was defective, or operated incorrectly or that the relevant signs were absent or inadequate.
If a defence of necessity is not established the Magistrates’ court sentencing guidelines do make clear that if a genuine emergency is established then this can be taken into account when sentencing.
There are some specific exemptions to the need to obey speed limits, for example vehicles used by the emergency services do not have to observe speed limits if to do so would likely hinder the use of the vehicle for the purpose for which it is being used on that occasion. However this does not give unlimited permission for the emergency services to speed at all times.
The comments above are general and should not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or procedure. Expert advice should always be sought on this area. We have not attempted to cover all the obligations or legal requirements that may arise.