No matter what line of work you are in, how many miles you drive a year or however experienced you are, most of us at some point will face penalty points on our licence or even a period of disqualification. The consequences can be quite devastating as far as family life or work are concerned.

Failure to respond to a section 172 notice

Speeding matters are generally straightforward. First of all you may receive a section 172 notice that requires you to give the name of the driver of the vehicle caught on camera speeding. Careful consideration should be given to this notice and the responses you provide. Failure to complete the form is an offence in itself and attracts punishment in its own right. If you receive a 172 notice, give us a call and we will talk through your options.

Thereafter you may receive a summons. If you receive a summons through the post it does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of the offence. It is possible to challenge the allegation of speeding itself. Generally you will have a good idea as to whether the information on the summons is correct. But the equipment used to measure speed has been successfully challenged in the courts on many occasions.

Being over the speed limit can be dealt with in one of two ways. First is the imposition of Penalty Points (PPs), or a fixed penalty (where offered) for matters that are just over the speed limit. More points can be awarded for higher speeds. Speeds way in excess of the limit are dealt with by way of a period of immediate disqualification.

Totting Up provisions

An accumulation of more that 12 PPs over a 3 year period makes someone liable to the "totting up" provisions. Magistrates will often refer to a defendant as being a "totter". If you are to be totted for the first time then the starting point is for a 6 month disqualification period to be imposed. It is possible to avoid disqualification under certain circumstances, or to have the period of disqualification reduced. This is by using an argument usually referred to as the "Extreme Hardship" argument. If it is possible to show that the effect of a period of disqualification would bring about a set of circumstances that cause real genuine grief, either through the loss of employment of the suffering of another family member for example, then with the correct planning and gathering of evidence, the chances of being disqualified can be greatly reduced.

Strong, considered mitigation is always the best way to proceed if you accept that you were over the speed limit, to try to minimise the points / period of disqualification. We can offer to do this by means of a letter to the court, or if you would prefer we will attend court and speak on your behalf.