Speeding fines – the 5 most common speeding myths
There are a large amount of speeding myths out there, whether they’re to do with finding loopholes to avoid a speeding fine or just confusion around certain speeding grey areas or laws. We’re going to bust some of these most common myths and provide you with the answers that you need to know.
1. If I get caught speeding, I can avoid getting points by requesting to take a speed awareness course.
This is very much false. There are criteria for being able to take a speed awareness course and you’re not able to request that you take the course, it’s completely down to whether this gets offered to you.
In order to be eligible for a speed awareness course, you have to match the following criteria:
- You haven’t been convicted of any other speeding offences in the past 3 years.
- You’ve been caught driving over 10% plus 2mph over the limit, but below 10% plus 9mph (can be dependent on the individual Police force).
So, generally speaking, this is usually only an option offered to you if it’s a lesser offence (only driving slightly over the speed limit) and you have a relatively clean record. Try not to end up speeding and you won’t have to do a course, or get points on your licence.
2. You have to be speeding at least 10% over the limit plus 2mph to get caught.
This has some truth to it, but in terms of technicality – this is false. In simple terms, if the speed limit is 50 mph and you’re driving at 51 mph, you’re breaking the speed limit and are therefore liable to receive the punishment for speeding.
With this being said, the 10% rule isn’t actually a “rule” and acts more as a guideline for police forces to aid their decision on the severity of the offence and what punishment would be suitable, whether that’s a speed awareness course, speeding fine or court summons.
It’s likely that a police officer won’t stop you and issue a speeding fine for going over the limit by 1mph.
3. I can’t be charged because the speed camera van wasn’t visible.
This used to be true, but unfortunately the laws around it were scrapped and it’s now no longer applicable. Police are able to set up their speed cameras in unmarked cars and have even been noted to be operating in tractors or horseboxes.
Under old laws, police operating speed cameras would have to be wearing high-vis clothing and use marked police cars. But with these laws scrapped, you’ll be able to pick up a speeding fine from an officer hiding out in undercover cars or as previously seen, even a tractor. So don’t risk it, and follow the law by driving within the speed limit.
4. There were no signs warning me of the upcoming speed camera and the speed camera wasn’t painted yellow.
Although speed cameras were to be painted yellow to make them more visible back in 2016, speed cameras don’t have to be visible and if you get caught by one that isn’t visible, that doesn’t mean that your speeding fine is going to be invalid. This also applies to speed camera warning signs.
Although the vast majority of speed cameras are visible and have signs warning you of them. If you end up getting caught by one that wasn’t sign posted or particularly visible, you won’t get left off the hook.
5. Speed cameras are just there to make money.
It might feel like speed cameras are just implemented to grab money, especially with police hiding out in unmarked cars to catch you speeding when you least expect it. But really they’re mainly just used as a deterrent and to make the roads safer.
No matter how good a driver you are, the faster that you’re driving, the higher the chance of losing control of your vehicle and the harder it becomes to react to situations and stop. Speed limits are implemented to protect both the driver and others, speed cameras are how they enforce these limits.
Hopefully this has helped you clear up any confusion around these speeding myths and if you’re interested in finding out more about speeding and speed limits, check out our article 5 times you didn’t know you were breaking the speed limit.