If you’ve got a motor of which you’re really proud, it can sometimes be tempting – when you’ve got room to let your horsepower loose – to really let your alloy wheels fly on the road. However, with speeding laws changing in just over a month’s time, you really need to think twice before putting your foot down.
Currently, if you’re caught speeding, you’ll find yourself with a fine ranging from £100 to £1000 and 3 points on your licence – not to be sniffed at, but the stakes could soon be much higher. From April 24th, speeding motorists could potentially be charged up to 175 per cent of their weekly salary, depending on the severity of the offence.
According to The Daily Express, the new system is separated into three bands. Band A is for an offence between one and 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, B is 11 to 21 miles per hour over the limit and band C is 21 miles per hour over the limit or above.
At present, it’s thought that band A offences will range from around 25 per cent to 75 per cent of a weekly wage, band B 100 per cent of a weekly salary and C up to 175 per cent.
The system is far more complex than the current one, which has a fixed penalty no matter the offence, so why change it? Well there are several ideas behind the reform of charging speeding motorists.
The new rules add levels of severity to speeding offences – whereas before you’d be fined the same.
For example, doing 38 miles per hour in a 30 zone compared to doing 60 miles per hour in a 30 zone – the latter is a much more antisocial and dangerous offence than the former and the government believes it should be fined as such.
The way in which the fines have been increased also looks to not caste band A as minor offences – as these can carry the same fines as the current charges. Rather, they have created a hierarchy upwards to make the worst offences punished as such.
One reason you might think to set a fee depending on weekly salary is to penalise big earners to whom a £1,000 fine is relatively insignificant – after all, those people are much more likely to drive fast cars, so potentially more likely to hit band C offences. However, the change in law has been criticised for affected rich drivers less than poorer ones.
That’s because these fines still have a limit – for band A offences that sits at £1,000 – the current maximum – while for maximum band C fines, the limit is £2,500.
Much like the well publicised enforcement of the new rules to do with using a mobile behind the wheel, these changes are sure to make headline news after the changes are brought into affect on the 24th April. Make sure you’re not one of the first to be on the receiving end and save your pennies for a brand new set of alloy wheels for you prized car instead.