Harsher sentences introduced to crack down on speeding
Commercial drivers will no doubt already be aware of the importance of sticking to speed limits on the roads. Many vehicles used for work may be fitted with speed limiters to ensure that drivers don’t violate legal speed limits or pose as a risk to other motorists.
Whether or not your vehicle has specific limits imposed on it, the prospect of speeding has become more costly to deter all kinds of motorists from breaking the law. From 24 April, newer guidelines have come into place to increase punishments for drivers going beyond designated speed limits.
Anyone caught greatly exceeding the limits of certain roads – for example going faster than 51mph in a 30 zone, or over 101mph on a motorway – now faces tougher punishments. Under the new guidelines, offenders can potentially be fined one and a half times their weekly earnings (capped at £2,500) and faces disqualification from driving for up to 56 days.
There have also been increases made to minimum sentences for going slightly above posted speed limits, and courts are also allowed to consider additional penalties in cases with aggravating factors. This can include whether the driver was operating a heavy vehicle, carrying excessive loads or if speeding occurred around a high level of traffic or pedestrians.
The introduction of harsher punishments comes after the revelation of some staggering figures highlighting more than 166,000 people charged for speeding, resulting in over 240 speed-related deaths, during 2015. The Sentencing Council has stated that the new measures indicate a “clear increase in fine level as the seriousness of offending increases” compared to previous regulations which didn’t necessarily take excessive speeding into account.
While many commercial vehicles will have physical top-speed restrictions in place, greater care should still be taken to keep within designated limits on all roads, not just motorways. This crackdown on speeding is sure to make all drivers remain aware of their speeds a lot more regularly.