Frequently Asked Questions and Forums

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Before searching through every page on the site, check out our FAQs below first - there's a good chance the answer to your question is there!  This section has brief answers to your most commonly asked questions and, if you'd like more information on a particular topic, follow the links provided.

  • I've received a ticket from a speed camera; how can I find out the legal position?

The following links to our Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP page) and Section 172 pages may help you to understand the legal position at this stage.

  • Is there a legal loophole that prevents prosecution if I don't sign the Form?

No - As far as we can tell the "lacuna" (or gap) in the law was closed in the High Court on 16th March 2004; we have more details at this link.

  • Can I be prosecuted for speeding if I was not driving the vehicle when it was flashed by a speed camera?

No - you can only be prosecuted for NOT informing the authorities who was driving your vehicle and, doing so, exonerates you from any prosecution - assuming that it wasn't you who was driving of course! Our Section 172 page has more.

  • The speed camera that flashed me was hidden from view. Does this mean that they can't prosecute me for speeding?

No - the new government guidelines, which state that speed cameras should be made visible, are not mentioned in the law so, if the speed camera that flashed you was hidden, it will not affect the allegation of speeding that has been brought against you. This page has more detail.

  • I've just been flashed by a speed camera. How long do they have to prosecute me?

They have 14 days to issue the registered keeper with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). However it may not be quite that simple in your case - this page has more details.

  • What guidelines should the police work to?

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) write guidelines that all forces in England and Wales should abide by. This link will take you to the latest version of the ACPO Traffic Enforcement Guidelines; they're in PDF format (1.53 MB).

  • The information on my NIP isn't accurate - does this invalidate the NIP?

Not Necessarily - There is a "slip rule" that allows the court to modify small errors (such as name/address of the keeper) due to typographical mistakes. Serious errors can't be modified, and invalidate the NIP.

  • I'm being prosecuted for speeding - how can I find out my likely sentence?

The fine that you're given these days depends very much on your financial circumstances. However, we've published the Magistrates' Guidelines for penalty points, and this link has the details. This link has a summary of penalty points for motoring offences.

  • Is the use of radar detectors allowed in the UK?

Yes - Since 29th January 1998, it has been legal to own and use a radar/laser detector in the United Kingdom. In summary, passive radar detectors that simply warn you that they're receiving a radar signal are NOT illegal, but the use of equipment that then transmits a "jamming signal" back to the radar device IS illegal. This page has the details.

  • Can I be prosecuted for not informing the police who was driving my vehicle at the time of the alleged motoring offence?

Yes - The registered keeper may be guilty of an offence unless they discharge their legal obligation under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This link explains this in more detail.

  • There was only one police officer in the patrol car that stopped me. Can I still be prosecuted for speeding?

Yes - The law says that there is only need for two officers if there's no equipment to corroborate the officer's expert opinion of the "excess speed". This link explains this issue in more detail.

  • I've just been stopped by a police officer for speeding. How long do they have to prosecute me?

If you were spoken by a police officer when you were stopped then they have 6 months to prosecute you, because the officer will have issued you with a verbal NIP at the time. Our NIP page has more on this topic.

  • I've been stopped for speeding and they didn't give me a speeding ticket. Does that mean that they can't prosecute me?

NO - The law doesn't mention the need for a speeding ticket, or many of the other things that you hear regarding speeding offences. The legal minimum that you have to receive when you're stopped by the police is a verbal NIP. We think that the regional variation that can be used for speeding offences will surprise you, and this link has the details.

  • How can I find out my basic rights so that I'm prepared when I'm stopped for speeding by a police officer?

We've included a summary of the basic rights that you have if you're ever stopped for speeding, and we suggest that you print them out and keep them in your car!

  • I'm being prosecuted for speeding but I think that the police evidence is inaccurate. Am I entitled to a copy of the evidence so that I can have its accuracy verified?

Yes - (unless you accepted a Fixed Penalty ticket when you were stopped). Any evidence that's being used by the prosecution must be made available to the defence before any trial can take place. However, the police don't like handing the evidence out, so you may experience difficulty obtaining it - our Disclosure page will help you.

  • How far above the speed limit can I drive before I risk being stopped for speeding?

You're guilty of speeding once you travel at 1 mph over the posted speed limit, and for that reason it's referred to as an "absolute offence". If a police officer tells you that they won't pull you over on a motorway at under 85 mph then that'is either their personal opinion or the policy of their constabulary. This is why they won't need any changes in legislation to introduce "zero tolerance".

  • I'm being prosecuted for a speeding offence. How does the legal system work?

There are three separate bodies that make up the "legal system" that is used to prosecute you:

  • The police, who collect the evidence in the first place and they are not involved again, unless they are called to court as witnesses.
  • The CPS, who prosecute you on behalf of the Crown. All the evidence becomes the property of the CPS after the decision to prosecute you has been taken. If you require any information or evidence relating to your case you should contact the CPS. Our Disclosure page explains how to do this.
  • The Magistrates' Court is the "independent" meeting place at which your case is heard, and this is the body that serves you with a summons and organises your trial. This website explains how these courts work.
  • I've accepted a Fixed Penalty ticket. Do I still have a legal right to the evidence in my case?

NO - If you accept a Fixed Penalty ticket you'll have accepted that you were guilty of the offence at the time. You only have a legal right to evidence after you've been served with a summons to attend court.

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