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Complaining About a Speeding Fine or Penalty Points

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 7 Jul 2019 |
Speeding Fine Penalty Points Police

In the UK, you can be caught speeding in two different ways; by speed camera or by a policeman holding a speed gun at the roadside. If you get caught, you are hit with a fine and three penalty points on your license, unless you are ‘lucky’ enough to get a Speed Awareness Course in place of the points.

Traffic offences require a Notice of Intending Prosecution (NIP), which must be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. The NIP must arrive within 14 days of the offence to prosecute. If you think you have been ‘flashed’ and it is passed the 14 days then you are likely to be clear. If however you are stopped on the road a police officer, they can give you a verbal NIP and that is sufficient.

Contesting a Speeding Fine and Penalty Points

When deciding whether to take the matter to court, the prosecution only need prove that you were speeding. There are no such defences as you didn’t realise you were speeding, that speeding wasn’t your intention, or you were only a little over the speeding limit.

Acceptable Defences Are:

  • If you were not speeding
  • If you were not driving at the time of the offence
  • There was no proper notice of the speed limit
  • The vehicle caught on camera has been misidentified

The first step is for the registered keeper of the vehicle to send the section 172 notice back within 28 days identifying the driver. This is a legal requirement whether disputing the offence or not, under Section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988.

Afterwards, you may receive a conditional offer of Fixed Penalty Notice for a fine and 3 licence points. You may wish to write an informal letter of Appeal to the address on the notice at this stage as they are accepted in some circumstances. Detail the reason why you should not be liable for the fine. You can also check your local police stations guidelines for this.

If the police issue no official appeals option or in the event that they reject your informal appeal, then you will have to choose whether to accept the fine or dispute the ticket formally. To do this, you'll need to request a court hearing by completing the relevant section of the Fixed Penalty Notice, and attach a statement of mitigation. Send this to the address on the 'request court hearing' slip and you will receive a summons. Before you do this, you need to understand your chances of winning your speeding case, and the possible consequences of losing it.

Contesting a Speeding Fine in Court

It is advisable to seek advice from a motoring law solicitor who can help weigh up your chances of success. When you receive your summons to court, you’ll also receive a Plea and Mitigation form to complete and return before the hearing date. You can either choose to plead guilty but with mitigating circumstances (this can sometimes be done on paper out of court if you don’t face disqualification from driving) or plead not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you will give your plea at the first hearing and be asked if you wish to call any witness at trial. You’ll be given a new hearing date and time to set out your defence with your solicitor.

Requesting Evidence

You can request the police’s evidence against you before the hearing which can then help you to build a defence for your case. Examples of requiring evidence are if you believe the police have misidentified the vehicle or have got an incorrect speed, or if you cannot remember who was driving.

At Court

When at court, the prosecution have to prove that you were driving the vehicle and that you committed the alleged offence i.e. that you were speeding.

If you are found not guilty, that is the end of the matter and you are free to leave. If however, you are found guilty of the offence, there is a chance that the fine and penalty points may be increased. Magistrates have the power to impose a fine of up to £1,000 (or £2,500 if you were speeding on the motorway), between 3 and 6 penalty points on your driving license, and a possible disqualification if you were driving more than 30mph over the speed limit.

For advice on fighting a speeding ticket, contact a motoring law specialist solicitor.

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Further to my earlier comment on Wighill Lane, Wetherby, UPDATE, Since checking out my SP30 speeding offence I have found out that a Speed camera has to be visible to an approaching Motorist From 60 Meters when the Speed Limit is below 40 MPH ? This law was changed in 2001 yet in small print at the bottom states you will still be Prosecuted for exceeding the speed limit, This Camera that caught me was not visible until you had passed it and then could only be seen by looking through the rear view Mirror owing to Trees and Bushes there was also no warning signs on my route warning of speed Cameras being in force ! I sent my concerns to the Agency /Police Morley, Leeds, and they replied 'Usually' the same speed applies on leaving one road to another unless Sign posted to inform otherwise and that my comments had been noted, Very good of them No name or police number to follow up any action to rectify !, So I will be contacting my MP to start asking questions. Also for those worrying of Insurance premiums increasing surprisingly I have just entered my regular Fully comp details on a comparison site with my SP30 added and it came back £6 less than the premium I payed last Year ? surprised yes.Worried NO.
wobblybob - 7-Jul-19 @ 7:57 AM
Travelling from Tadcaster West along Wighill Lane NSL 60 mph I turned off onto Thorpe arch trading estate on the first exit left, After having a llok around the estate I drove along an Unnamed road 'Road 5' towards the British library all clearly marked 30 mph and street lighting which also indicated a speed limit !, I arrived at a Juction with a triangular Halt sign which I stopped looking straight ahead there was a sign arrowing Wetherby to the Left and a wagon weight limit sign pointing in my directional route, I rejoined Wighill Lane to head back to Tadcaster with no sign nor lamposts/street lighting and thought I had rejoined the NSL of 60 mph, I was travelling at a leisurely pace with being retired and nothing to rush for then approx 200 meters from the junction there was a slip road on the opposite side of the road entering the VOSA headquarters, on this slip road was a small circular disc with 30 mph at this moment I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a monster of a Truvello bio directional speed camera instantly banging my feet on the brake pedal and looking at my speedo which was reading 42, 7 days later I received the nip. I instantly payed the £100 and accepted the points, I have sent an Email asking for the Almighty powers that be if they could check out my route and pointed out my fear of any other innocent motorist being caught in the same trap !, I do not have the interest in driving any more nor the inclination to fight the almighty in the ivory towers and will trade the cost of motoring for a FREE Bus Train Pass where I can sit all day on the most polluting of vehicles for up to 17 hours per day with no more worries of speed traps, car parking fees, hospital car park fees etc, There loss not mine.
wobblybob - 1-Jul-19 @ 12:55 PM
Hi, I have just received a Notice of Intended Prosecution for driving at over 30mph recorded by an automatic camera. The notice has the date of the offence as 18/06/2019, but the time as 00:00 and my speed as 0mph. I did drive on the road it states on that date, but the notice doesn't have a time or state how fast I was going. Should I send a letter of appeal when completing the s172 statement, as surely I can't be prosecuted for driving at 0mph? Thanks
Knighty - 27-Jun-19 @ 3:53 PM
Myself and my wife done last October 2018 took both of us to court my wife first she was found guilty and 3 points and 750 fine treated her disgusted treated her terrible police hadbarrister she didn’t cos could not afford one she didn’t stand a chance theypenalised her so walked all over her had loads of.Evidence Even though police lied in court wasn’t man that done her was there even though he said it was but she had picture of him hiding in the bush but didn’t want to known done on 23 may 2019 loads people had there tickets void hadevidence and letters of this and sign had job number back of it and was legal sign feel really bad way been treated with no help of anyone if we had plenty of money we would no point appealing even though been told I would win it but wife can’t go to court again cos really upset her I pleaded guilty and I had fine for 400 pounds cos didn’t have money to plea not guiltycos fine my wife had police treated us really bad lost all faith in them now few people gone to court about sameoffenceBut I haven’t heard anything probably I won’t
Huntingfox - 13-Jun-19 @ 11:07 AM
Done last year for speeding would accept it cos when driving there was a legal 40 sign there on the post no sign 30 anywhere on the road took me to court found guilty fine of 740 pounds 3 points even though loads people had there ticket void on same road got lot of prof but they were not interested doing 35 so under 40 sign advice would be great can’t appeal haven’t money to do it cos not working full time carer for my daughter
Loopylou - 13-Jun-19 @ 10:47 AM
I have just received a NIP from the Welsh Police, for going 3 mile an hour o er the limit on the A55 in Wales, I know for a fact there are no fixed camera's along the stretch of road and neither myself or 2 of my work colleagues have seen any police what so ever with speed guns, are they using unmarked cars with camera's in? If so isn^t thatnot right and if they weren't wearing a uniform they cannot do that either , so they will be getting a phone call tomorrow and I want absolute proof it was a fact I was speeding
Nik - 30-May-19 @ 9:27 PM
I got a speeding ticket and sent all relavant paper work off regarding that it wasn't actually driving but my by. Unfortunately I didn't send the letter recorded delivery and the courts never received it. So I then got another letter with a court date and a form to fill in online. So filled in the form and the date came but had to ring and re arrange due to illness of child.Then missed the 2nd date due to elections and having no childcare. I have now received a £876 fine and 6 points on my license. is there anyway to appeal this?? I did send in the information required
emmzies - 9-May-19 @ 4:47 PM
Got a speeding fine for doing 90 on the motorway. My fault, 100% was me, i knew it at the time. Got the usual notice through, first offence, 3 points and £100 fine. So obviously i paid it! However about 5 months later, the £100 fine went back in to my account. After searching, i realised they had done it because i hadn't sent my licence off to get the points added on. Nowhere was it clear that this is what i needed to do. Because of this, it went to court. So i obviously pleases guilty, and the fine went from £100 to £245, followed by a letter saying that they didn't need my licence to be sent off. So now, without sending my licence off i have got the 3 points added to it! The point here is, why did they send my fine money back, to send it to court, to get the same outcome, to then over double the fine and put the points on without my licence being sent in anyway!? Seems ridiculous. I would understand if i had of had a reminder letter to send my licence off, but nothing.....
DV - 1-May-19 @ 3:34 PM
Police in Scotland gave me a NIP ticketv3 points 100 fine for doing 43 in a 30 zone . There was no way of seeing them or there speed trap and unmarked car as they were hiding down a street to my right concealed by a big wooden fence about 10 feet and in an unmarked car . Is it entrapment ? Do they have to make themselves visible by law or ? they had hi viz bibs traffic cops but not visible to me driving towards them in there silver bmw in Dundee Watch for them folks in Drumgeith road they hide up Montpellier Gardens nearing ballumbie road going towards michelin Club ..
Sarah Moss - 28-Apr-19 @ 5:54 PM
I had fixed penalty few days ago cos of my speed. I knew there is a camera but my friend had and attact in the car (he has flash back illness) he had fight with his wife and I did want to make him calm . But in the car he had a serious attact. I did panic and made speed . I had to drive fast him to take him to hospital . I while later he was fine but I had already photo taken by speed camera so can you tell me writing a letter to police
Selma - 7-Nov-18 @ 9:43 AM
Hi.We all have a story regarding draconian speed limits & the misuse of the cameras etc. Now these so called `smart motorways' are about to get everyone doing 72mph & with total misuse of the red (say) 40 or 50mph limits when there is nothing for miles is 100% wrong… My question is how can we the motorist complain & actually start a campaign or something to stop this highway robbery ? The Governments total misuse of these draconian speed limits & cameras is unfair & totally wrong .But how can we get it stopped. Its raking in £millions for the Government but ruining our lives & livelihood's? How can we earn & pay tax`s if the Government is hellbent on taking our driving licence of us all.?
stevenm - 22-Aug-18 @ 9:43 AM
I have received a speeding fine & would like to know if I have a case against it. The road going in to York from Sim Balk Lane which is the A1036 Tadcaster Road is not signed as 30 mph from where I join it. When I leave my village of Bishopthorpe which is signposted at 30 mph I pass a national speed limit applies sign . On joining the road in to town which runs across this road out of the village (A1036) I do not pass any signs to tell me it is 30 mph. I have lived in this area all my life & travel the road at least twice a week now & at one time every working day in the past for many years. I always treated this road as a 40 mph zone as it is not a built up area. Street lighting is there however not consistent on both sides of the road & also obscured by extremely large trees running the length of the road. One set of traffic lights on the road at the Cross Keys slows traffic as it should however when you have passed through them the road again opens up with the racecourse to the right. I have asked local peoplewho I have known all my life & many have not realised the road to be 30 mph limit. It is not signed as 30 mph. I believe this road needs to be to avoid travelling above this. Not all drivers who passed there test 40 yrs ago ore more realise that the extremely loose rule of street lighting to be an indication of a 30 mph zone. Why can it not be signed at 30 mph & where does the 30 mph zone start when coming off the A64 dual carriageway in towards York? It is not clear. I have a speed limiter on my car which until I enter a 30 mph zone or a dual carriageway I have set at 40 mph. The speed cam van was parked literally 100 yards through the traffic lights mentioned where I suspect many many drivers were checked at 35 to 40 mph as I was. Road Tax, Petrol & cars on a whole are expensive enough without tricking the public into paying fines for loose rules & bad signage. The point is though, do I have a case of appeal against ths fine? Geoff.
Geoff - 19-Aug-18 @ 4:16 PM
hey thanks for the reply this a followup to it. I didn't feel i was at all it was a gradual acceleration i was in no hurry. I've never contested one before so have no idea the procedure to go through, i was just sent the letter last week asking for me to pay the fine and hand in my license to get the 3 points. I have heard conflicting things, some people who have family lawyers advising to contest as they dont go to court ( costs too much etc... ) and others warning that it could potentially lead to a bigger fine,more points and court costs. The argument for it not going to court is they dont have the money here in scotland to chase it up and they might offer a fine only compromise etc.. However they sent out 3 pictures and a certificate of the speed camera being calibrated the month before... so if they felt it was concrete they would have no reason not to take it to court as it wouldnt be out of their own pocket but mine.
fendertele - 9-Jul-18 @ 2:57 PM
@fendertele - The law states that you are liable for a speeding fine as soon as you exceed the limit, so if you’re doing 31mph in a 30 limit, you’re breaking the law. But if you can prove your car can't go 0-41 in the time you were flashed you might have a point. It's a tricky one. If you're speeding your speeding, so if you were doing 34 mph you're still speeding.
GreG - 9-Jul-18 @ 9:54 AM
Hi, I am a new taxi driver. I was parked at a set of lights and when they turned green and i drove off i was flashed 3 times, i didnt think it was for me at the time as there was another car going the other direction at speed and i thought it might have set it off. But the letter came through my door asking for me to name myself as the owner of my car, i contacted the police the next day and asked if they could send me the images as i didn't believe it could be true. they sent 3 pictures of my car 2 showing my car and the white lines and one with my reg plate in clear view and also a certificate of calibration. The thing is my car has a slight alignment issue and when im starting from a stop i always hold the biting point for a second to make sure the car is going where i want it to go.... so the idea of me getting up to 41mph in such a small space of time really makes me doubt it is accurate.... however when i first passed my test, i got 6 points in my first year... i haven't had any since but i'm afraid if i contest this that it will go against me... and risk getting more points and a bigger fine, the fine isn't the issue i just dont want the points as i drive for a living. What would you recommend ? contest or just accept the fine and points ? thanks
fendertele - 8-Jul-18 @ 8:30 AM
@Haydenh - yeh, that excuse is not going to work mate. But nice try :)
NeilB - 3-Jul-18 @ 11:59 AM
I pulled out my drive and webt down the main road making sure i got up to speed to keep up with traffic and no one crashing in the back of me i saw a man with a gun to me a black speed gun should not be black as i felt like it was a real one and sped up over 40 in a 40 i have not yet recieved a letter but pretty sure i will....is it worth complaining or not as to me i actually thought a man was going to shoot me and i didnt no it was a policemen till i passed him.
Haydenh - 2-Jul-18 @ 8:39 PM
I was caught speeding and this was felt with by 3 points and £100 fine. I have just received a letter stating I am being taken to court for the same offence and had the £100 refunded. How can this happen 6 months after the event?
Steved - 30-Jun-18 @ 10:45 AM
Hi. My car was caught doing 41 in a 30 miles an hour zone. I wasn't driving my car and I'm not sure who was at the time. I have been summoned to court and lost the plea letter. Does anyone know the number? And is it worth me going guilty or not? X
Nicole - 16-Jun-18 @ 9:13 AM
Ho Goldie, may i know what happen to your case? Did they revoke your license? Thanks
Alfred - 3-Jun-18 @ 7:51 PM
Milo - Your Question:
I have received my penalty offence Although I was driver but at that time, that camera catch me my speed reading wasn’t work properly.that why wen I got first letter ,I went to mechanic and I fixed it immediately ;Because I was scared maybe it cause me over speeding in other places too and I have got receipt and every thing from the mechanic that shows my speed meter has been fixed With those thing do I have any chance to apply to the court ?

Our Response:
You would have to apply to court. However, this will cost. You may wish to seek legal advice in the first instance to see whether you have a case.
ComplaintExpert - 31-May-18 @ 12:31 PM
I have received my penalty offence Although I was driver but at that time, that camera catch me my speed reading wasn’t work properly .that why wen I got first letter ,I went to mechanic and I fixed it immediately ; Because I was scared maybe it cause me over speeding in other placestoo and I have got receipt and every thing from the mechanic that shows my speed meter has been fixed With those thing do I have any chance to apply to the court ?
Milo - 29-May-18 @ 6:30 PM
Ryhz - Your Question:
I have recently received a speeding ticket from the police with the offence dated in November 2017 and the issue date is recent 28th April, so we'll after the 14 days specified from the officer who stared it would arrive before Christmas last year. Do I have a case to reject this?Many thanks

Our Response:
Only if you weren’t stopped by the police for the speeding offence (eg it was caught by speed camera), does the notice of intended prosecution need to be sent within 14 days.
ComplaintExpert - 30-Apr-18 @ 2:09 PM
I have recently received a speeding ticket from the police with the offence dated in November 2017 and the issue date is recent 28th April, so we'll after the 14 days specified from the officer who stared it would arrive before Christmas last year. Do I have a case to reject this? Many thanks
Ryhz - 28-Apr-18 @ 11:29 AM
Hi please remember that the innocent have the right to be protected at all times .
Mick - 27-Apr-18 @ 11:13 AM
Hi there have been over 1.2 million speeding tickets issued if ONLY 1per cent were issued incorrectly that amounts to over 20 thousands innocent people wrongly convicted for speeding ,that is totally unacceptable,the speedingchecking devices should be 100 per cent accurate at all times.if they are not then they should not be used at all.the innocent have the right to be procured at all times.the law needs to be changed so the the innocent are never wrongly convicted
Mick - 27-Apr-18 @ 11:06 AM
Hi there are many things that can go wrong with the test results the weather was it cloudy raining or windy etc even the colour of your vehicle was it black or red.were you being over taken at the same time .have you asked for to see the evidence.also proof that the equipment as been well maintained and serviced . also as the officer been fully trained etc.it may be a waste of time sending any letters.. Even though it asks for you to attach any further information.if you are innocent. may be very difficult to prove as well as being very expensive.finally you will not got much help from the police.as it is all a money ?? generating .the innocent have to grin and bare it
Mick - 27-Apr-18 @ 8:48 AM
Amezz - Your Question:
Does a NIP need to be sent within 14 days? What happens if it sent out of the timeframe? Also what if the person driving is on disability benefits, how much do they pay?

Our Response:
Much depends upon the 'issue' date of the notice, not the time frame in which is was received. Only if the issue date is more than 14 days after the offence can you question/reject it. You are required to pay any parking or traffic fines that are imposed regardless of having a disability or being in receipt of disability benefits.
ComplaintExpert - 24-Apr-18 @ 10:49 AM
Does a NIP need to be sent within 14 days? What happens if it sent out of the timeframe? Also what if the person driving is on disability benefits, how much do they pay?
Amezz - 23-Apr-18 @ 11:00 AM
Hi, My partner was stopped by police using a hand held speed cam.He was apparently doing 64 mph in a 40 mph zone. 1) we have an overspeed limiter on our car set to 41 mph, which didn't go off. 2) we took the car to the mechanic the next day to query why it didn't go off and were told it was functioning correctly and set at the right speed. 3) the police were located on a stretch of road which has 3 static cameras.They were between 2 static cameras. None of the static cameras before the police position went off. 4) it was rush hour on a busy A road, hardly likely 64 mph could be possible in those circumstances. 5) another car passed my partner on the nearside lane and was not stopped by the police. We have got cover for motoring offences via our home insurance and have been allocated a solicitor, but I wasn't hugely confident that she has had much experience in this specific area.When I suggested that we would need an expert report on the reliability of these hand held speed cams, she told me that the 2 panel 'experts' they use for reports are FCIR and Viewpoint Investigations, both of which appear to deal with crash type reports. My view is that although on the face of it, there is serious doubt that the speed cam was either functioning correctly, or more probably was indicating a false reading due to a well known problem of 'slippage', we will almost certainly require an expert report to back this up.Does anyone know of such an expert that I could contact?Additionally, it might be best to switch to a solicitor with more experience contesting these types of speeding offences, in which case, are there any recommendations? Thanks.
primocat - 20-Apr-18 @ 1:56 PM
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