Imagine you’re driving home from work late one evening. In your head, you’re thinking about the comfy armchair waiting for you at the end of the road and what you’re going to watch on Netflix.
Absent-mindedly, your foot gets a little heavier and you stray over the speed limit, trying to get home just that little bit quicker.
Then you feel it. The harsh white flash from a speed camera on the back of your neck.
That’s how easy it is to get caught speeding. All it takes is a split-second mistake on the wrong stretch of road and you could end up in court.
We understand how easy it is to make a mistake and
That’s why we’ve pulled together all our road traffic expertise to create a Speeding Offence Helpsheet. We hope it keeps you fully informed of your options and helps you make an informed decision over how to proceed.
What Does the Law Say?
The legislation is quite long but the condensed version is this: It is an offence to exceed the speed limit that applies to a particular class of road.
How You Get Caught
A wide variety of devices are used by Police Scotland to measure the speed of motorists. Below we have detailed a number of the most common devices and methods used in Scotland, some of which you may have already encountered on the roads.
Mobile or fixed speed cameras use white lines on the road and two photos taken in quick succession to calculate a motorist’s speed. The most common camera in the UK is the Gatsometer.
Radar or Laser Guns
Radar or laser guns work by bouncing a signal off a moving vehicle. Then, using clever maths, they calculate the vehicle’s speed based on the change in the signal’s frequency.
Average Speed Cameras
Using multiple cameras and license plate recognition technology, average speed cameras calculate a car’s average speed over a set distance.
Police sometimes estimate your speed by maintaining a consistent distance between their car and yours and using their own speedometer.
Speeding offences can attract a range of penalties, including points, fines and disqualification. Typically drivers receive between 3 and 6 penalty points and a fine.
However, if your speed is deemed grossly excessive, you may be prosecuted for dangerous driving, which carries a minimum disqualification period of 12 months.
Speeding charges are far from indefensible. Every year, thousands of motorists choose to challenge their charges and, if successful, avoid fines, points and disqualification.
Below I have detailed six common defences to a speeding charge. A successful defence to a speeding charge may incorporate one or more of these defences.
Errors in Procedure
Establish that the police have not carried out essential checks or procedures. Failure to carry out these checks or follow proper procedure is often fatal to the prosecution.
If your speed is measured on a device, the prosecution must prove that the device is approved for use, that it was operating correctly and that it was operated correctly.
It should not be assumed that certificates and photographic evidence cannot be challenged. They can, but this must be properly done otherwise the advantage will be lost.
Court proceedings must be raised within 6 months and the motorist must be warned that he or she is facing a prosecution within 14 days from the date of the offence. Failure to do so may result in proceedings being deserted.
There is a duty on local authorities to erect and maintain traffic signs to provide adequate guidance to drivers about the applicable speed limit. Failure to observe proper regulations may prove fatal to the prosecution’s case.
A special reason is not a defence to a charge of speeding, rather it is a unique circumstance that explains why the offence was committed.
What Should You Do Next?
If you have been charged with a speeding offence anywhere in Scotland, our specialist road traffic legal team is standing by to help.
We will prepare your case, arrange for supporting documentation and make forceful representations for you at court, ensuring you receive the best outcome possible. For free, no-obligation advice, contact our team today.