As a licensed PCO minicab driver, you already have several outgoings to be mindful of including fuel, cleaning costs, and the rental charge for your hire car itself. However, with new speeding laws now in effect, you could be at risk of spending far more.
Since 2015, speeding offenses have risen by over 40%, leading to over 200 people being killed in incidents involving speeding. This spike in speeding offences, and the sheer number of fatalities, are what led to the change in regulations, which all drivers, whether PCO or not, will need to strictly adhere to — not just for your own financial security, but the safety of those around you.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to speeding fines in London, and how you can keep your reputation and business afloat by avoiding breaking the rules regarding speeding.
Speeding fines are broken into a range of bands, the severity of which will depend on the circumstances of the offence. Often, the penalties will be financial, as well as leading to the deduction of points from your drivers licence, and apply both on main city roads and the motorway.
The majority of speeding cases are counted as Band A offenses, which impact those driving up to 10mph above the speed limit. Those who take legal responsibility for a Band A speeding incident will be given a fixed penalty notice (FPN) — aka a speeding ticket — along with a fine of up to £100, and three penalty points on their license. Alternatively, instead of the points, some drivers may be given the choice to take a course to improve their understanding of speeding.
If you deny responsibility for your Band A speeding offense you will have to fight your case in court. A guilty verdict will raise the fine tenfold to £1000 — or £2500 if the incident took place on a motorway — and be given more penalty points on their license.
Anyone who is caught driving between 11 and 20 miles per hour above the speed limit will be hit with a Band B speeding charge. These come with a fine of up to 125% of your weekly income, as well as the potential to be summoned to court. You may also be given up to double the number of penalty points as you would incur for a Band A offence — between 4 and 6 — and it is also possible to be banned from hitting the road for between a week and 28 days.
This is the most serious of the main speeding fine bands and applies to those driving between 21mph and up from the limit. It could see those found guilty hit with a huge fine of between 125% and 175% of your salary per week, as well as receiving six penalty points on your licence. If found guilty, you will also be prevented from driving for between one week and a full 56 days, which will dramatically impact your income if you work as a PCO driver.
Despite there being three main bands for speeding fines, bands D, E and F do exist, but are for even more serious infractions related to where the incident takes place, or the driver or car itself. For example, higher bands will be applied for repeat speeding offenders, or those who have a current criminal record. If you are driving a larger vehicle such as a van, taking passengers in your car as a PCO driver, or are towing a caravan, these higher bands will also apply.
The fines for these bands are exponentially higher, and again are calculated against your weekly salary. Band D offenders will see fines of between two and three times their income, rising to 3 and 5 times for Band E, and 5 to 7 times their income for Band F.
What are the speed limits in London?
TFL provides a clear, detailed breakdown of London’s speed limits on their website. The majority of roads, especially those in central London, operate on a 20mph limit, rising to 40mph further towards the outskirts and suburbs of the city. Signs will be clearly visible on most roads, and drivers should generally err on the side of caution, and drive slower in the event that they are uncertain.
What happens if I caught speeding on the motorway?
Motorway speeding offences will usually be caught in one of two ways — by a police officer, or on camera. Those stopped in person will either be given a formal verbal warning or an FPN.
If you are caught on camera, you will be sent two documents in the post: a Section 172 notice, which requests proof of ownership and identity, and a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). You will need to reply to both within 28 days, returning all requested documents along with proof of identity. You will then be sent a fixed penalty notice (FPN) outlining your fine, or be sent a summons for court. You are free to challenge your ticket, which is done in the form of a letter contesting your innocence. If you do not reply to the ticket, you will be sent a follow-up document requesting your presence in court.