Speeding risks fines and higher insurance premiums – and accidents.
By: Michael Challiner
Jeremy Clarkson recently asked everyone in his audience who considered themselves a conscientious safe driver, to put their hand up. A forest of hands appeared. But was everyone truthful?
Even the most careful driver will have broken a speed limit at some time or another. We all do it, some by lack of concentration, some by failing to notice the speed limit, some because we’re running late, and other simply because it gives them a buzz.
The fact is that if we exceed the prescribed speed limits for a stretch of road we run the risk of being punished. Whether we’re caught by a speed camera or a police officer it’s going to cost. Precisely how much usually depends on the particular speed limit you exceeded and by how much it was exceeded. And despite the proclaimed fairness of the British Courts, your fine may also be influenced by which court you find yourself in and whether the magistrate had a good lunch! Even if it’s a relatively minor speeding offence, don’t expect to come away with change out of £60. And if you were over the ton on a motorway, a £500 fine would be cheap and you’d be luck to keep your licence.
So that leads on to penalty points. All speeding offences attract penalty points. Exactly how many again depends on the circumstances of the offence but generally you can expect three penalty points for a minor speeding offence. In indirectly, penalty points can be very expensive. Insurance companies take a great interest in their clients driving record and take the number of penalty points on your licence, and the reasons for their existence, as a reliable guide to the level risk they are taking by insuring you. So penalty points will certainly result in your insurance company increasing your premium on your next renewal. And the more powerful you car is, the greater the risk and the more the insurance company becomes concerned!
Accumulating points on your licence is also a dangerous affair. If you have been driving for more than two years and have accumulated 12 penalty points in the space of three years, you can expect an automatic ban. For inexperienced drivers who have held a full driving licence for less than two years, an automatic ban comes into force with just six penalty points and you have to retake your driving test once the driving ban has expired.
The highest cost with driving fast comes with the escalating chances of an accident. If your excessive speed was a factor in an accident, not only could you lose your no claims bonus but you could get between 3 and 11 penalty points for dangerous driving. And the loss of your no claims bonus would mean that the following year the cost of your car insurance would rocket.
Are fines, penalty points and higher insurance costs the most defining costs for excessive speed? No! Don’t forget the human cost. You might not worry about injuring yourself in an accident, but have a care for the other road users and pedestrians. Injuries can ruin lives and deaths devastate families.
You might think that it would never happen to you – but it can.
Take care and remember – excessive speed kills.
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