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Tougher penalties for worst speeders

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Drivers caught excessively speeding will have to pay higher fines from April 2017 under new sentencing guidelines for magistrates.

Fines for the most serious offenders will start at 150% of weekly income rather than the existing level of 100% of weekly income.

The new rules, for example, mean a motorist driving at 101mph or over in a 70mph speed limit zone will pay a fine from a more severe bracket.

The Sentencing Council is introducing a new higher penalty for the most serious offenders to take into account the potential harm that can arise when drivers go way above the speed limit.

RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said: “We welcome the change in sentencing guidelines for gross speeders. 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.

“While greater sentences for excessive speeders are obviously a deterrent, the best deterrent of all is more effective enforcement.”

The new sentencing guidelines also state that for people evading the £145.50 annual TV licence cost, magistrates’ may impose a conditional discharge for the lowest level offending or for those who experience “significant financial hardship at the time of the offence”, rather than receiving the standard £1,000 fine.

This means an offender won’t be sentenced for an offence unless they commit a further offence within a given time period.

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