It was recently announced that the Sentencing Council has reviewed the sentences that judges and magistrates can impose for various offences.
The Sentencing Council is a government body that sets guidelines and recommendations regarding court sentencing. According to its website, its aims are to promote
“greater consistency in sentencing, whilst maintaining the independence of the judiciary. The Council produces guidelines on sentencing for the judiciary and criminal justice professionals and aims to increase public understanding of sentencing.”
One of many sentences that new guidelines were issued to courts recently was regarding speeding. Sending a clear message to reckless and dangerous speeding drives, on April 24th of this year the fines for speeding were increased, in accordance with Sentencing Council guidelines.
The current upper limit for a speeding fine is up to and including 100% of the speeding driver’s weekly wages. As a cash fine, this is up to a maximum of £1,000 – or a maximum of £2,500 if caught speeding on a motorway. After April 24th, the new guidelines will allow magistrates to increase those fines up to 150% of weekly wages – but the upper cash limit will remain the same. These upper limits will be particularly imposed for significant speeding cases, considered by the Sentencing Council to be:
- 20mph speed limit; 41mph+ recorded
- 30mph; 51mph + recorded
- 40mph; 66mph +recorded
- 50mph; 76-85 + recorded
- 60mph; 91mph +recorded
- 70mph; 101mph +recorded
This is welcome, as figures released show that in 2015 166,695 people in England and Wales were actually sentenced for various speeding offences, with two jailed for dangerous driving, and 166,216 were awarded fines. The average fine in 2015 was £188. However, those numbers stubbornly remain relatively unchanged in 2017. The Sentencing Council had a recent consultation with magistrates and local judges – the result of which was the increase in speeding fines. In a press statement, the Council stated that it wanted to ensure a clear increase in penalty “to reflect the seriousness of speeding offences”, and wanted to target specific offences (not just speeding and dangerous driving related).
In the consultation last year, it was felt that current sentencing guidelines “did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the speed limit increases”. It is hoped that the new potential fines will deter reckless, speeding drivers. Indeed, many accidents on the roads are caused by excessive speed.
That excessive speed can, in a moment, result in a tragic road traffic accident, which can leave drivers, passengers, other drivers and indeed often other road users seriously injured in a matter of moments. Despite many public safety campaigns, and the efforts of driving schools, speeding is still a problem – and ultimately has the power to seriously injure those involved.
If you have been injured as a result of a car accident, whether the car was speeding or not, in many cases a claim for compensation can be made against the at fault driver. Following a personal injury arising from a car accident, legal action might be the last thing on the mind of the injured party – but such legal action can often go a long way in resolving the matter, seeking justice, an in obtaining compensation following a serious personal injury.
Speeding can cause serious car accidents, and even worse injuries for those involved. Such increased fines could hopefully go a long way in reducing the numbers of reckless drivers – but there will sadly always be cases of speeding drivers. Even if a road accident is not caused by speeding, accidents and personal injuries can occur only too easily on the roads.
If you want further details about the speeding fine increases, or assistance in making a personal injury compensation claim following a road accident, then our personal injury lawyers at CompensationClaims.co will be happy to advise you.