How to beat a speeding ticket in the UK
– Time limit
The Road Traffic Offenders Act of 1988 specifies that the driver who has been caught speeding by a speed camera, MUST receive the NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) of the offence within two weeks (or 14 calendar days). So if you were caught speeding and didn’t receive the notification until AFTER the 14 day limit, you CAN dispute the speeding notice. You do this simply by writing to the issuing authority claiming you are NOT GUILTY and quote the Act stating you received the notice outside the 14 day time limit. You must respond within 28 days. In some cases, your fine is cancelled straight away. This is because the authorities are aware that many cases going to court with this loophole are likely to win, so it isn’t cost effective to fight the case. However, if they do not cancel your fine, you can still go to court BUT… understand that if you don’t win, you could also be liable to court costs as well as having to pay the fine.
– Incorrect details on the NIP
When you receive the notice, read it VERY CAREFULLY. If it has been received within the 14 day limit, start to examine every detail about the offence. Check that the road is accurate, check the time, check the nature of the offence. Any errors could also help get the fine over turned. Note that typing errors or spelling mistakes generally don’t count.
– Wrong driver notified
Some speed cameras don’t give a clear shot of the driver’s face. It could be that you were not driving the car on the date in question. This is quite possible if several people have access to the car. For example, your spouse, children, friends may also have had access to the car. So if you weren’t driving the car on the date and time notified on the NIP, you can appeal and plead not guilty. You can simply explain your don’t know who was driving on that day. Some magistrates will believe you and others won’t!
– Road signage defects
If the road signs on the stretch of road were damaged, incorrect, missing etc, you may also have grounds to please not guilty. Go back to that stretch of road and carefully examine the signs and any road markings. If there are signs missing or damaged, take photos and get a witness to validate your observations.
– Speed camera defective
Some cameras are very old and might not be maintained correctly. So check when the speed camera was last re-calibrated. The local council will tell you this.
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– Going to court
If you feel you have good grounds to appeal and enter a not guilty plea, you might have to go to court. This will be a magistrate’s court in your local town or city. You can represent yourself if you are confident, or if not, you can engage a solicitor. This will cost you, but if you have points already on your license, the cost could be worth it to avoid losing your license. Note that if you lose, you will probably be instructed to pay additional court costs as well as your fine.