From today (Monday 24 April), anyone caught speeding will be subject to a much higher fine than previously – which could be up to 175% of your weekly income – plus three points on your licence.
This includes drivers caught doing 41mph in a 20mph zone, 51mph in a 30mph zone or 66mph in a 40mph zone.
The guidelines have been brought in by the sentencing council to give stricter powers to district judges and magistrates to make drivers “think twice” on the road.
Those who choose to drive dangerously, could be fined 50-75% more of their income than previously, which was 100%. The new rules will bring this up to 150-175%.
Those caught driving at more than 101mph in a 70mph speed limit could also be disqualified for up to 56 days.
The changes are part of a consultation in 2016 that argued previous guidelines did not properly take into account the potential harm of speeding – and the risks it poses to the public.
District judge Richard Williams, a sentencing council member, said: “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.”
Breakdown recovery firm the RAC has welcomed the new ruling – and says it will benefit everyone.
Spokesman Pete Williams 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.”
Fines for motorists caught going well above the speed limit will start from 150% of their weekly income rather than the existing level of 100%.
For example, someone who is sentenced for driving at 101mph or faster in a 70mph zone will now be dealt with in a more severe bracket.
Drivers will also face points, or a disqualification depending on the offence.
The Sentencing Council said the move aims to ensure there is a “clear increase in penalty as the seriousness of offending increases”.
Fines are determined in categories – a Band A fine is 50% of someone’s weekly income, Band B is 100% and Band C is 150%.
The guidelines apply to all motorists and come into force on April 24, regardless of the date of the offence.