Motorists caught driving well over the speed limit will be slapped with fines of up to 175% of their weekly income once new sentencing guidelines are rolled out next week.
In a move designed to make dangerous drivers "think twice", the Sentencing Council's tougher new penalties for serious speeding offences, which come into effect on Monday 24 April, will replace the existing level of 100% of an offender's weekly pay.
A motorist earning an average salary of £27,000/year could be fined up to £730 for driving way over the speed limit. But fines will be capped at £1,000 – or £2,500 if you're clocked on a motorway.
These hefty fines will come into play for anyone caught driving at the following speeds:
- 41mph and above in a 20mph zone
- 51mph and above in a 30mph zone
- 66mph and above in a 40mph zone
- 76mph and above in a 50mph zone
- 91mph and above in a 60mph zone
- 101mph and above in a 70 mph zone
Speeding drivers will also face driving bans
Under the new laws, drivers caught at speeds up to 10 mph over the limit are classed as 'band A' and will face a fine of between 25% and 75% of their weekly wage.
Those clocked at 11 to 21 mph over the limit fall into the 'band B' category and can expect to pay between 75% and 125% of their weekly income. Offenders could also face points on their licence.
The most serious category of offence is 'band C', which applies to drivers exceeding the speed limit by more than 21 mph. Band C offenders face fines of between 125% and 175% of their weekly pay (capped at £1,000 or £2,500, depending on the type of road where the offence took place).
Meanwhile, band C offenders could also be banned from driving for up to 56 days or get six points on their licence.
Tougher fines will make offenders 'think twice'
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: "Anyone who breaks the limit excessively is a danger to every other road user and is unnecessarily putting lives at risk. Hopefully, hitting these offenders harder in the pocket will make them think twice before doing it again in the future.
"While greater sentences for excessive speeders are obviously a deterrent, the best deterrent of all is more effective enforcement."
District judge Richard Williams, a Sentencing Council member, added: "The magistrates' courts 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."