Speeding Law changes 2017 : What does this mean for you?
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  • Tough new speeding laws are now in practice. What does this mean for you?
  • 08 May 2017
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    Tough new speeding laws are now in practice. What does this mean for you?

    As of midnight on the 24th of April speeding laws in the UK changed. How exactly have they changed and what can you do to ensure you avoid them? We’ve taken a look at what's what and how you can adapt your driving to keep you safe.

So, what’s the big deal?

Speeding has and always will be an ongoing issue and, as of the end of April, drivers are now facing tougher punishments, especially those committing the more serious offences. Motoring groups have welcomed the change, highlighting the fact that speed is a vital part in improving road safety. Drivers caught speeding excessively above the legal limit will now face higher penalties in England and Wales.

How have the rules changed?

Under these new guidelines, motorist breaking the speed limit in excess will now face a fine of up to 150% of their weekly income as opposed to the previous level of 100%. This will apply to drivers doing speed like 51mph in a 30mph zone or doing over 100mph on the motorway. The maximum fine rules still apply, this means that speeding drivers cannot be fined more than £1000 UNLESS this takes place on a motorway, where the limit will be £2,500.

Why the change?


This move aims to tackle the more serious offenders and ensure that there is a clear increase in the amount that serious offenders are fined. This followed lengthy discussions about how a rise in speed is undeniably linked to the potential harm caused, should something go wrong. There are so many statistics that back a harsher punishment for those caught speeding and to raise awareness of the adverse effects that speeding has on road safety. Such as:

  • In 2013, 3,064 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of speeding.  
  • The risk of death is four times more likely if struck by a vehicle doing 40mph instead of 30mph.
  • Speed is one of the MAIN factors in fatal road accidents.


The Government initiative THINK! has taken it up a gear and with a push to educate people about the consequences of speeding. It’s just one of the examples of how the public sector have taken a proactive approach to reducing the number of offenders.

The change in rules is being put in place to punish the more serious offenders and may be a welcome change to those of us who drive responsibly.

What can you do?

Where speeding is concerned, even the most conscientious drivers break the limit. It is almost unavoidable that, on pretty much every journey, you will drift over those limits. On the other hand, you’ve got the ‘20mph everywhere’ drivers… This is also a danger in itself, this is an inappropriate speed that can cause accidents. The speed limit is a guide and depending on conditions should give you an indication of what the top speed would be in a standard situation. It is up to you to determine if the conditions allow for it, it is not a target. If it’s pouring down you slow down, same goes for snow or even low but blinding sun. Similarly, what are other drivers doing? Is there a sharp bend ahead? Yes, YOU choose the speed to travel based on your judgements.

Don’t Speed

We get it, this is an obvious thing to say but as stated above, your speed is your choice

Be aware of the Speed Limits

Awareness and observation are key. Speed limits are more there to indicate and warn of hazards and driving conditions of the road you are travelling on. Keep your eyes open and pay attention. Missed it? Take a look at your surroundings.


    • 20mph
      • Usually in town centres, high streets, residential areas and near schools
      • Usually, see regular speed limit signs
      • The speed limit is this low for a reason. STICK TO IT

    • 30mph
      • Usually in built up areas
      • General rule is if there is street lights it's a 30mph zone unless stated otherwise

    • 40mph and 50mph
      • Usually in areas that are not built up but are still not national speed limit appropriate
      • Could indicate hidden bends, junctions or roundabouts
      • You should see regular signs

    • 60mph - National Speed Limit
      • This is the speed limit for single carriageways
      • If there is no sign of a central reservation (grass or concrete) you are on a single carriageway

    • 70mph - National Speed Limit
      • This is the speed Limit for dual carriageways
      • Dual carriageways feature a central reservation
      • Should you see the National Speed Limit sign here 70mph is the speed limit and the same applies for cars on the motorway should the sign appear overhead.

If in doubt, slow down 

If you are in doubt as to what the road conditions could mean, what is ahead, what the speed limit is or even if you are approaching an unmarked patrol car there is only one fix. SLOW DOWN. Be on the safe side.

Unfamiliar roads call for caution

We know we’ve mentioned this above but is super important to remember to treat the unknown with caution! Doing so is key to achieving safe driving as well as avoiding speeding tickets. Going at high speed on unknown roads is a sure fire way to decrease your reaction time whether this is reacting to a hazard or a speed trap.

Ensure you can always stop

You probably heard it from your driving instructor and it still applies now. You should always be able to stop safely in the distance you can see to be clear ahead. This also means that you are allowing yourself reaction time (see above).

Don’t rely on the speed camera database

Undeniably, they can be useful but it does not cover everything. Mobile speed cameras will not be on there and they are currently coming out in force, not even all the fixed cameras will be on there!

Be cautious of de-badged saloon vehicles

Keep an eye out for unmarked patrol cars, especially on motorways. Keep your eyes open and drive safely.

Use Cruise Control

This by no means an official piece of advice but more experienced drivers can use their cruise control as a speed limiter, ensuring that you do not break the speed limit over a distance. If you do use this it is important to maintain vigilance and keep a keen eye and attention on your surroundings should you need to step in and take back control.

Set off earlier

This is easier said than done, no doubt about it, but it works. If you have time to take your time you won’t speed. As soon as you find yourself under the pressure of time of arrival you’ll also find yourself being blind to speed limits. Rushing is a sure-fire way to get caught speeding, the funny thing is that driving over the speed limit doesn't actually save you that much time. We’ve all been overtaken by some ‘wanna-be’ racing car driver and then pulled up behind them at the next set of lights, right?

So, there you have it…


The laws have changed, they have been changed to tackle the more serious offenders. Following these tips and tricks, combined with your common sense, you can avoid being one of them!

Drive carefully, be aware and be safe.

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