Tougher speeding penalties come into force

Harsher punishments for the most serious speeding offences have come into force in England and Wales.

Under new guidelines, set by the sentencing council, fines for drivers caught doing 51mph in a 30mph zone or 101mph on a motorway will start from 150 per cent of weekly income, rather than the previous level of 100 per cent.

The new measures follow responses to a consultation which found previous guidelines did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the limit rises.

Fines will also be increased for when motorists drive at 41mph or faster where there is a 20mph limit.

However, because the maximum fines allowed by law remains the same, speeding drivers cannot be fined more than £1,000 unless the offence takes place on a motorway, where the limit is £2,500.

The new legislation comes after 244 people were killed in Britain in 2015, in crashes that occurred when a driver was breaking the limit.

The Sentencing Council said it wanted a ‘clear increase in penalty’ as the seriousness of offending increases.

Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director, welcomed the new speeding measures, but maintained that the limits on fines mean there is ‘not a level playing field’.

Gooding argued: "While we broadly support linking the amount of the penalty with income, the cap on the level of fines means that this link is broken for high-income drivers - hardly a level playing field."

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