The Impact of Increased Speeding Fines.
From April 2017 speeding fines increased. The new rules established three Sentencing range bands A, B and C for speeds above specific speed limits. With Band C being the severest, with a disqualification from 7 to 56 days or 6 Points and a fine range of between 125% to 175% of the offender’s weekly income. Looking at endorsement data from 2016 and 2017 was there a significant detectable change?
The Sentencing Council’s published Speeding (Revised 2017) guidelines set out the steps for determining the offence seriousness. It includes a Fine Calculator allowing for input of Income, Band Fine Range, a stated Stating point income percentage and allowing for a Guilty plea allowance. The amount of fine is adjustable by the court attended or the enforcing police officer also allowing for mitigating circumstances, including previous convictions, the location of the offence and weather conditions, adding to or subtracting from the penalty.
DVLA Freedom of information requests made by Licence Link obtained offence data for 2016 and 2017. Comparing and analysing the data graphically shows the impact of the revised guidelines.
Exceeding statutory speed on a public road (SP30)
The endorsement data, when represented graphically for SP30 offences for the months between April and October shows an interesting trend. The only month that showed a drop in 2017 from 2016 was May. A conclusion could be that with all of the media interest and published articles on the subject of the revised speeding penalties, drivers became more cautious. But if this was the case it did not last long. The following months show an increase.
It is worth mentioning that October and Decembers numbers were not fully in due to outstanding court cases and required investigations.
Exceeding speed limit on a motorway (SP50)
For SP50 offences it could be concluded that motorway drivers may have been more aware of the changes since there was a reasonable drop in April, May and June in 2017. But for the rest of the year, the offences were slightly increased or on par with 2016. August and October showing a marginal drop.
Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits (SP10)
Looking at the data for SP10 offences, there does not seem to be any obvious impact. Offences peaked in May with a slight drop in April and September.
Interpreting the Data
The data presented does indicate that there was a brief change in driver behaviour after the increase in fines occurred. But it was not significant nor can it be considered a long-term deterrent. It is interesting that there was only a very marginal change for SP10 offences in April where the trend of increased endorsements continued. This demonstrates that Fleet and HR Managers need to keep vigilant where driving licence checking is concerned. Relying upon external deterrents is insufficient in the process of endeavouring to avoid risk. Licence Link always recommends that appropriate checking frequencies are established dependent upon exposure to driver related risk.