Higher penalties for drivers caught speeding excessively have come into effect.
The Sentencing Council has changed guideline sentence levels for the most serious speeding offences, with a new higher penalty being introduced for those offenders who drive at speeds excessively above legal limits.
Drivers caught doing 41mph in a 20mph zone, 51mph or more where there is a 30mph limit, or 101mph on a motorway, could receive a band C fine of 150% of their weekly income, rather than the previous level of 100% of weekly income.
The Sentencing Council said it increased the penalty for the top band of seriousness to ensure that there is clear increase in fine level as the seriousness of offending increases.
It said the change followed calls from respondents to a consultation who said that the previous guidelines did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the speed limit increases.
The RAC welcomed the change. Road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: ‘Anyone who breaks the limit excessively is a danger to every other road user and is unnecessarily putting lives at risk. Hopefully, hitting these offenders harder in the pocket will make them think twice before doing it again in the future.
He added: ‘But tougher penalties are only effective in changing behaviour or increasing compliance if drivers genuinely believe that they are likely to be caught and prosecuted for breaking the law.
‘With a significantly reduced number of dedicated roads policing officers you have to question whether increased fines alone will change the attitude of excessive speeders.’
The maximum fines allowed by law remain the same, so fines cannot exceed these. The maximum fine for speeding is £1000, unless it takes place on a motorway, in which case it is £2,500.