I've been caught speeding; what should I do?
I think I was flashed by a speed camera two days ago but I’m not sure. I haven't heard anything from the police yet but I'm pretty certain the camera flashed me as I went through. What should I do?
First things first, you should always be aware of your speed and know whether you’re driving too fast or not and whether you’re likely to have been flashed by a speed camera.
In some cases, speed cameras can flash by mistake or can be set off by cars speeding in the other direction, while some will flash but have no film inside and the offence will go without penalty.
Legally, you must be informed of a speed offence within 14 days of the incident taking place via a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and the best policy is to wait for 14 days and see whether or not it was you who was flashed. If at the end of those 14 days you haven’t heard anything, you won’t in the long run.
If in the worst case scenario you receive a speeding ticket, you will have 28 days to reply, either accepting the penalty or appealing it.
Regardless of whether you agree with the fine or not, failure to reply to the notice in the time allowed will see the case referred to court where you are likely to receive sterner punishment.
Generally, speeding tickets and fines result in a £60 fine and three points on your licence that will stay with you for four years if you’re a first time offender. Drivers may also be offered a Speed Awareness Course rather than the fine and points.
If you are certain that you were not speeding, you can appeal a speeding fine.
If you are going to appeal the first step is to make sure all the details on the NIP are correct and that the correct speed limit has ended up on your door and it makes sense. For example, if you know you were on holiday when the offence occurred, then there’s probably ground for appeal.
If the details seem correct, it’s important to check out the site where you were caught speeding. Obstructed speed limit signs can be grounds to appeal a speeding fine.
You can also request photographs of the incident if it was a speed camera that flashed you. If it was a police officer that flashed you, you have the right to see any evidence collected for the speeding fine.
It’s not easy to challenge a speeding ticket and the best way to avoid a speeding fine and penalty points is to stay within speed limits.
Image courtesy of Dave Bleasdale via creative commons licence.