Speeding motorists could face fines of up to £2,500 under stricter new laws being introduced from April.

The Sentencing Council, which is imposing the new guidelines, says it wants to see a "clear increase in penalty" as the severity of the crimes increase. 

It will mean more motorists found guilty of speeding having to pay the maximum £2,500 fine.

What's changing?

For more serious speeding offences (band C, as shown below), magistrates will be able to raise the penalty from 100% of the motorist’s weekly income to 150%.

However, the cap on the maximum value of speeding fines will not be increased. This stands at £1,000, or £2,500 if a driver is caught speeding on the motorway. 

Responses from a consultation with magistrates and criminal justice professionals shows that current guidelines do not "properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the speed limit increases".

Magistrates are advised to further adjust sentencing based on "aggravating factors" such as previous convictions and weather conditions. 

Changes in full

The changes will come into force across England and Wales on April 24.

Speed limit (mph)

Recorded speed (mph)

20

41 and above

31-40

21-30

30

51 and above

41-50

31-40

40

66 and above

56-65

41-55

50

76 and above

66-75

51-65

60

91 and above

81-90

61-80

70

101 and above

91-100

71-90

Sentencing range

Band C fine

Band B fine

Band A fine

Points/disqualification

Disqualified for 7-56 days OR 6 points

Disqualified for 7-28
days OR  4-6 points

3 points

Source: Sentencing Council

TV licence relaxed

There were a number of changes to other fines announced as part of the review. For example, sentencing will be more relaxed on TV licence evasion.

If someone hasn’t paid a TV licence but evidence shows they made a reasonable effort to do so, magistrates can impose a non-financial penalty.

This is known as a conditional discharge, meaning that the person won’t be sentenced until they commit another offence.

Conversely, Animal cruelty caught on camera will attract harsher sentences, with the most serious offenders being sent to prison. 

Malcolm Richardson, national chairman of the Magistrates Association, said it was essential magistrates had effective guidelines to help them give "fair and proportionate" sentences.

"These new guidelines will further help ensure the consistent effectiveness of the magistracy," he said.

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