Harsher Penalties for Offending Motorists
The penalty system for speeding violations has changed and you can now pay more than double what was previously considered severe. As of 24 April the maximum fine increased to a whopping £2,500 as opposed to the current maximum of £1,000.
A consultation in 2016 concluded that the previous guidelines did not reflect how much harm speeding has, and has the potential to cause. With commercial vans accounting for more than 5% of all fatal accidents in 2015, these guidelines should be taken very seriously by our community.
Prior to 24 April drivers could be reprimanded with a fine up to 100% of their weekly salary, which is vastly different to the new system whereby there are three bands which determine the severity of the offender’s penalty. In Band A a motorist will be charged half of their weekly income, Band B will be charged a full weeks earnings, and Band C offenders will be charged 150% of their weekly earnings.
What the van community needs to remember in these scenarios is that the speed limits differ depending on the vehicle being driven. With the law determining that whilst all vehicles must drive at 30mph in built up areas and 70mph on Motorways; Single Carriageways and Dual Carriageways must be driven at a speed of 50mph and 60mph respectively by motorists in vans.
The fact that the number of dedicated road traffic police officers is declining is a huge factor in these changes. The new penalties are being enforced in the hope that this decline will become less of a problem than it currently is and that motorists will think twice before offending again, or ultimately even once.