/ Motoring

Slow down! Increasing fines won’t reduce speeding

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has announced plans to raise fixed penalty speeding fines from £60 to £100, with a lot of the additional money going towards victims’ support services. So will this help prevent speeding?

Each year £66 million is spent on victim support services by the government.

Raising speeding fines to £100 would mean speeders are funding up to £50 million of this cost, compared with the £10 million they are currently contributing.

Some people are highly likely to see this move simply as a tax on drivers and a way to raise money rather than reduce speeding on the roads. And I think they may have a point. Wouldn’t it better to increase penalty points to put offenders off speeding rather than increase fines?

Better to increase penalty points

Under the current regulations a fixed penalty fine for speeding will set you back £60, and a minimum of three penalty points will be added to your licence. Drivers can then be disqualified under the ‘totting-up’ system by building up 12 or more points over a three-year period.

By increasing the minimum penalty points given, however, more drivers (particularly repeat offenders) would think twice before speeding as they would hit that 12-point barrier considerably quicker.

Others just see this as a way of bringing old penalty rates up to date – the penalty levels for motoring offences have remained the same for the last 10 years and have fallen behind other fixed penalties.

Additional motoring offences covered in the proposal include using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring pedestrian crossings and failing to wear a seatbelt.

Do you see these proposals as just an extra tax or is it a reasonable way to raise money for victim support services?


The only deterrent that will work is you lose your car. Caught using your phone whilst driving you lose you’re phone and your car. And there’s no let me transfer my stuff before you take it, if you don’t want to lose it, don’t do it. Simples.

A Jail sentence needs to be feared by all and not just the law abiding.

Any level if fine is only likely to be paid the the more law abiding anyway. You see these cop programmes and the fines/sentences mean nothing to a small minority of repeat offenders

Sophie Gilbert says:
9 February 2012

Why not have both? And more speed reducing measures in appropriate places such as sleeping policemen, rougher road surfaces, including restoring cobbled streets by reclaiming the beautiful cobbles now adorning some local authority councillors drives. And more visible traffic police. Let the increased fines fund all of that as well.

Please don’t advocate an even more punitive driving experience than we’ve already got! Much of our road network is in such a dismal state of repair that you couldn’t drive fast anyway (with the honourable exception of White Van Man, of course!) Anyway, we are hardly in need of more infuriating, back-breaking, suspension-jarring sleeping policemen, because sunken manhole covers achieve the inverse operation nicely anyway! Then add to that a myriad of on-going road works which act which act very effectively as traffic chicanes …

Phil says:
9 February 2012

It isn’t stiffer sentences which are the real deterrent but the chances of getting caught. If offenders knew that there was an 80 or 90% chance of them getting a ticket they wouldn’t speed. As it is the chances are probably 10 or 20% so nobody worries about heavier fines because they know the chances of having to pay any fine is so low.

The real bowel loosening sentence for motorists is having to take the test again.

A lot of the time it seems to me that in the absence of speed limit signs, people are blissfully unaware of the speed limit of the road they are travelling on, and that includes driving too slowly. I see this as pointing to a complete lack of knowledge of the highway code. The government needs to rethink the whole licence system. At the moment, when you pass your test, you are given a license that is valid for fifty years. Bearing in mind that the first motorway was built only fifty-four years ago, and how the road network and the vehicles on it have changed in that time, a fifty-year licence to operate a one-tonne piece of machinery that can potentially travel at over 100 miles an hour, in an ever-changing environment, is a seriously dangerous idea.
Surely a driving licence should only be valid for a maximum of ten years. At least then people would be more likely to be aware of current laws. Admittedly there would be a lot less drivers on the road for the government to tax, but there would certainly be a lot less accidents.

par ailleurs says:
10 February 2012

Things are gradually changing but until attitudes to speeding alter in the same way as they did to drink driving there will still be problems. Also, modern cars are so smooth and relaxed at 30-40mph that people have no perception of the danger involved on a speed restricted road until they have to react to an emergency.
Then there is the hard core of habitual offenders who drive without licence or insurance. What will put them off? Very little until punishments really do fit the crime. A driving ban for these people is as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

David says:
10 February 2012

I love driving at the speed limit if only to see how many other drivers form a queue behind me in a few minutes. They are not just boy racers, more likely mothers with babies on board, women using a mobile phone, men with a fag in one hand. I wonder how many don’t know what the speed limit is (30 stupd) or do they just not care. I also allow for the fact that my speedo like most others under-reads by about 10%.
There ought to be a fine for the brainless who don’t seem to realise that a mini roundabout is still a roundabout, not a cross roads. And what happened to the 2 second rule (tailgating)?
Driving standards are much worse than they were 30 years ago. The cars might be better but the drivers are worse.

Surely it should be BELOW the speed limit – The speed limit is maximum one can drive at – not some sort of target.

I get tired of the incompetent – careless – idiot drivers that haven’t a clue – Seizure of the car at the first offence should curtail the urge to speed. A £100 fine is derisory – it should be at least £1000.

The extremes of opinion shown here are just as bad as the attitude to speeding. If ever setting a car in cruise control on a motorway was a dead giveaway as to what is likely to happen as many drivers will always harass anyone in front of them just as much as the ‘good’ driver who is doing the speed limit smuggly blocking the road. Appropriate speed on mostly busy roads is the only long term solution where most of the time the humble Yaris will be doing exactly the same speed as the mighty BMW 5 series. Fines should reflect the poor driver attitude particularly with regard to unecessary harrassment by HGVs (which rarely exceed speed limits) just as much as powerfull cars.

I agree, Charles. It is bad enough seeing intolerance and lack of common sense on the roads without having to read extreme views on this forum. Let’s all pretend we are on a motorcycle or Reliant Robin and consider the vulnerability of ourselves and others when driving. Anyone who thinks they know it all should not be driving.

val cragg says:
11 February 2012

I was on an empty main road at noon on the day of the royal wedding and was caught by a camera my fault as I was doing 32 mph – it was surreal as there was nobody about and I was on the main road to avoid the street parties. I attended the driving course because I have never in 30 years driving had any points on my license

I was shocked to find that 95% were people were in the same boat (5% were admittedly speeding because to make meetings etc ) – over 45, householders, taxpayers, law abiding citizens who had never been in this situation before. I was surprised too that it was contracted out to consultants who made the point that this was lucrative work for them. I felt huge disappointment in a system that only “catches” people who are compliant – whilst missing those who are driving without insurance, licence etc.

Les Morrison says:
1 May 2017

You’d NEVER be “trapped” at 32mph unless it was a 20 zone, in which case you deserve a severe penalty.

I think we have to look at other courses of action to slow people down on the roads. There are people out there who simply don’t care whether you take the car, they’ll just steal another one, take their licence they will drive without one. Watch any of the reality TV programmes that shadow traffic police and you will see what I mean, not even prison puts them off. For everyone else you have to deal with why they exceed the speed limit and build roads with in built detterents to make people keep their speed down. Just weilding a big stick doesn’t work.

I would like to see public information broadcasts on TV and radio to alert people to scams, phishing and other common ways of parting people from their money. Sponsorship could come from the banks and Microsoft. I am well aware that Microsoft does respond promptly to security issues but one of the reasons that people do fall for the Windows scam is because it is so common to have problems with malware on Windows computers.

Apologies. This has found its way on to the wrong Conversation. I’m more careful when I’m driving. 🙂

I for one love my cruise control, its a very simple way of making sure I don’t exceed the speed limit, thus giving me more time to pay attention to all those numpties who are hogging the wrong lane, using a phone, changing lanes without looking/indicating, jumping amber/red lights or just simply not paying attention. And as we all should know someone can be a worse driver for doing all the things I’ve mentioned above whilst not exceeding the speed limit than someone who is speeding but paying attention and doing none of them.

Barry says:
12 February 2012

If people choose to break motoring laws, then they should not complain and should pay for their choice in terms of a heavy fine and points on their licence, according to their offence. If the money they generously give because of their choice can be put into maintaining the road system, including speed cameras, then that would seem to be just. Repeat offenders, of course, would lose their privilege to drive. The big problem is having the infrastructure for law enforcement.

The increased fines will only trouble the less well off. The Jaguars, Land Rovers, BMWs, Porsches, etc won’t notice any difference. So little additional deterrent there.

Colin says:
12 February 2012

I have sped in the past, and taken the course (I thought it was very good as I now try to spot speed signs) I found that there is a confusing arry of signs close to us a 50 gate then up pops a 35 sign then a 40 sign within 100/150 yards can we not can we not get it sorted out so you can drive more smoothly and make sure signs are not covered by a sign or bush or tree. Could we not have coloured roads or markings.
Whilst I agree that the natural conditions of the road does slow you down. If you drive you dont feel the bumps do not affect you as much as they do a passenger with a bad back now my passenger is in a wheelchair I have to drive well under the speed limit which really gets up other drivers noses and means they take more risks to pass me and I get a tailback behind me.

Sophie Gilbert says:
13 February 2012

Why do people think speed limits have been invented in the first place? Just to annoy drivers and to tax the idiots who break them?

I’m convinced that the majority of us try to be law-abiding and conduct ourselves responsibly. For a minority, habitual speeding is indicative of a general antisocial attitude which will manifest itself in all sorts of other areas: having no insurance, for example. The most effective punishments for such offences are ones that publicly shame the miscreant: perhaps the ultimate ego-mutilating experience is to be seen walking back to their house because their car has been (legally) crushed! A before / after photograph in a newspaper would give some pleasure to the public, too. Of course, make the offender pay through the nose for every stage of the process – court charges, towage charges, disposal / environmental fees etc.

Moonpenny says:
13 February 2012

Only a couple of posters on this thread seem to understand that speed alone is NOT the main cause of accidents. A lack of basic roadcraft (understanding hazards), combined with poor understanding of how loading, environmental conditions, braking distance and maintenance can affect performance is the real problem. If it were speed alone, our motorways would be deathtraps, however,only 4% of accidents are on the motorway. 66% of fatalities were on roads with a speed limit of 40MPH or less (DFT). Finally to my pet hate, ’40 milers’, that drive at 40MPH along NSL roads and then 40MPH through 30MPH villages…classic example of inappropriate driving.

Paul de-Ville says:
13 February 2012

Increased fines, increased points? – neither will stop so-called Speeding. What is ‘speeding’?; the inappropriate use of speed. So what is appropriate then? This can, logically go on and on, but to simplify, it means driving with a very highly developed sense of awareness of what is apparent and what could become so. This can only come through extensive driver training and progressive experience; and it’s a long experience! Yet here we are, churning out Driving Test passes to people with an abysmal training behind them because they ‘passed the test’ on the day. In this ill-equipped way, having little sense of potential dangers, they drive at inappropriate speeds and so the greater Community ‘punishes’ by firstly posting notional Speed limits and subsequently by enforcement; fine, points, etc. Unfortunately, this penalises everyone and at all times whatever the conditions. (I’m sure many of us know someone who has had a Speed Camera flash them and a subsequent ‘demand for money’ resulting from a drive on an empty road at 2 a.m.)
So, let us stop turning out ‘rookie’ drivers and concentrate on proper training; the kind that will let them drive totally safely!

GillyGloucs says:
22 February 2012

Hmmm. The number of times I’ve been behind speeding vehicles (where drivers are not necessarily driging in accordiance with either the law or the road conditions) only to see the brake lights come on as they approach a speed camera …. and then speed up again as soon as they’re out of range. It doesn’t seem to me that this is changing people’s behaviour or attitutude to driving in the long term – rather, it’s triggering a short-term response borne out of a desire to avoid a fine. There is a disconnect here which to date, we seem unable to bridge.

This is one of the benefits of average speed cameras, which have been introduced on some motorways.