Motorway Speeding Fine Could Rise To £10,000
Government Considers Higher Fines For Motorists
The Government is considering increasing the maximum fine a magistrates' court can impose for speeding on the motorway to ten thousand pounds. It might also increase the penalties for various other crimes. Offences are categorised in long established levels based on severity. The level one maximum fine could - subject to being passed through Parliament - rise from two hundred pounds to eight hundred. This incorporates crimes such as unauthorised cycle racing on a highway. The level two fine could, in contrast, increase from five hundred pounds to two thousand. Offences include riding a motorcycle without a crash helmet, etc. The level three fine is currently limited to one thousand pounds but could increase to four thousand pounds. Offences include being drunk and disorderly. The level four fine, in contrast, cannot currently exceed two thousand five hundred pounds but could rise to ten. This covers motorway speeding, etc. The Government's Justice Minister, Jeremy Wright, defended the proposals by claiming that financial penalties "set at the right level" are an effective punishment for offenders.
How Higher Fines Might Work
But let us keep this in perspective. A motorist caught at eighty-two on a motorway is unlikely to receive a huge fine. After all, the fixed penalty notice that most receive will continue to be one-hundred pounds and three penalty points. A potentially larger fine should only be a prospect if the motorist faces a magistrates' court. But again, this should be kept in perspective. The court, after all, would impose a fine based on the severity of the offence and the driver's ability to pay. As such, a cleaner is unlikely to be fined a fortune but a millionaire – that has committed the same offence - might be. This ensures a fine is enough to hurt based on the driver's circumstances, but not excessively.
Road Safety Experts Discuss Proposed New Fines
But not everyone is convinced it is necessary to increase fines. Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association, argued that: “For the vast majority of drivers the prospect of the existing two thousand five hundred pound fine is a pretty good deterrent against excessive speeding on the motorway. We would not condone excessive speeding in any way but fines have to be proportionate to the offence and one has to question whether increasing the fines four-fold is proportionate. It probably is not. If we had more cops in cars on the motorway that would be a much more effective deterrent.”