Magistrates’ Courts to impose larger fines for motorists travelling at the fastest speeds

Magistrates’ Courts to impose larger fines for motorists travelling at the fastest speeds

From April 2017, magistrates will have the power to impose more punitive sentences on motoring offenders. Tougher sentences for drivers convicted of motoring offences could lead to a rise in lengthy bans and larger fines.

The harsher punishments, set to be introduced in April, follow an increase in Magistrates’ Courts’ sentencing powers and a consultation held by the Sentencing Council last year.

The tougher sentences will also follow the recent publication of figures by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), which show a dramatic rise in the number of motorists who received driving bans in the last financial year. In 2015-2016, almost 10,000 more drivers received driving bans than in 2014-15.

As a result of the changes to magistrates’ sentencing powers in March 2015, magistrates are now able to order defendants to pay unlimited fines; previously there existed a £5,000 cap on magistrates’ sentencing power.

Arguably the most notable increase in motoring sentences is for speeding offences, which will see drivers paying far greater financial penalties.

Respondents to the consultation called for the Sentencing Council to take into account the increase in potential harm that can result from drivers travelling at the fastest speeds. Currently, motorists driving at 60mph in a 40mph zone are not given a more punitive sentence than those travelling at 70mph. This is because the sentencing guidelines currently dispose of both these offences via Band B fines, which imposes a financial penalty of 100 percent of the defendant’s weekly income.

From April, motorists travelling at the following speeds will be ordered to pay a Band C fine, which imposes a financial penalty of 150 percent of the defendant’s weekly income.

Speed Limit           Recorded speed
20mph zone              41 and above
30mph zone              51 and above
40mph zone              66 and above
50mph zone              76 and above
60mph zone              91 and above
70mph zone              101 and above

The guidelines will be used to sentence adult offenders in all Magistrates’ Courts in England and Wales from 24 April 2017.

At Blaser Mills, our team of specialist motoring lawyers have a track record of success in representing clients charged with:-
• Driving while disqualified
• Driving without a valid licence and/or insurance policy
• Driving with excess alcohol
• Drunk in charge
• Failure to provide specimens for analysis
• Careless driving
• Dangerous driving
• Speeding
• ‘Totting-up’ disqualifications
• Fatal collisions

Our road traffic offence lawyers can help you from the moment you become aware that you may be charged or summonsed for a motoring offence, through to the conclusion of any Court proceedings. In some cases we may be able to help you avoid Court altogether.

If you would like to speak to a member of the team free of charge, please call Daniel Martin on 01784 273907 or email dcm@blasermills.co.uk