Motorists convicted of serious speeding offences will be fined 150% of their weekly salary under tough new rules, it has been reported.
Currently, the fine for speeding is 100% of the person’s weekly salary.
The Sentencing Council has published new guidelines to be implemented in all magistrates courts in England and Wales and the new laws will come into force on 24 April.
The Sentencing Council says it wants to see a “clear increase in penalty as the seriousness of the crimes increase."
The upper limit for fines, £1,000 – or £2,500 if caught on the motorway – remains the same.
Responses from a consultation with magistrates and criminal justice professionals shows that current guidelines do not “properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the limit increases.”
Magistrates are advised to further adjust sentencing based on “aggravating factors” such as previous convictions and weather conditions.
A serious offender will be categorised by the amount they have exceeded the speed limit and varies between different speed limits. The average fine in 2015 was £188, with the courts sentencing 166,695 speeding offenders in that year.
Richard Williams, Sentencing Council member and district judge, said: “The magistrates’ court deal with the vast majority of offenders in England and Wales, so it is essential that the guidelines they use are up to date and help ensure that sentences are applied consistently and effectively.
“We have listened to the views of magistrates, criminal justice professionals and others with an interest in particular offence types in developing these guidelines. We are grateful to all those who responded to the consultation and helped shape the final versions that will be used in courts.”