With over 5,000 speed camera in the UK, even the most cautious of drivers can find themselves in a situation where they are prosecuted. Where several speed cameras are deployed on the same road or motorway, the most obvious example being that of average speed cameras, drivers can run the risk of being caught speeding more than once on the same journey.
It has been questioned whether this would count as one offence or two.
The general rule is that where 2 speeding offences are deemed to have been committed 'over the course of the same journey, e.g. within a few minutes of each other, the Court can impose only one set of points for the two or more offences. The question really then becomes one of interpretation, as whether or not the offences will be treated separately or together, is at the discretion of the court. We have managed to successfully argue, for example, that a journey to and from somewhere on the same day could be considered as forming part of the one journey.
Speeding carries a number of penalties that can have a lasting impact on not just the driver, but anyone who relies on their ability to drive, e.g. children. In Scotland:
Within 14 days of being caught speeding by a speed camera, you will be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and a Section 172 notice. The NIP is often the first indicator that you are facing proceedings for a road traffic offence and can be given for offences such as careless driving, dangerous driving, and, of course, speeding. The Section 172 notice must be returned within 28 days, declaring who was driving the car at the time of the offence. Following the submission of the Section 172 notice, you will be sent a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).
On receiving the FPN, if you deceide to plead guilty you will receive a £100 fine and have three points added to your licence. You must accept the fixed penalty within 28 days of issue and can pay it at any court across Scotland. IF you do not pay the FPN within the 28 days, and the matter is referred to the court to deal with, then the FPN is no longer valid and the court have the ability to deal with the matter in any way they see fit. They are not bound by the fact that you previously received a FPN.
If you want to contest the speeding offence, then you simply need to ignore the penalty, and you will usually then receive a citation to attend court in relation to the offence. Only then can you challenge it.
If you have been issued with two or more fixed penalties within the same journey, it is critical you speak with a road traffic professional before accepting the fines. As once a FPN is paid, you cannot look to change your mind or challenge. With proactive legal representation, you may be able to get it reduced to just one offence.
Scullion LAW Specialist Road Traffic Lawyers with offices Glasgow Saltmarket, West End, Edinburgh and Hamilton can help you. Call our road traffic experts 0141 374 2121 or complete our online enquiry form.