Under new proposals from Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, speeding fines could rise from £60 to as much as £100. This 66% increase has been suggested as a solution to the £50 million funding gap for crime victims. Approximately £20 from each speeding fine will go towards helping the victims of motor accidents.
This is bad news for motorists that are caught driving above the speed limit. Sixty quid is bad enough, but £100? That’s a lot of money.
And it’s not just speeding fines that are changing. Any driving offence that carries a £60 penalty (for example, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile while driving) could increase to anywhere between £80 and £100.
Even drivers that are caught tailgating, braking suddenly, or cutting-up other motorists, could find themselves subject to fines. Anything that is considered ‘careless driving’ could become an immediately finable offence, to save the police force and the government on paperwork.
Drivers without insurance could face a rise in the £200 fine to £300. It’s thought that the government can convey the seriousness of the crime through increasing the fine sums.
The victim’s surcharge raises £10 million a year for the Government, but considering that it demands more than £66 million in payouts a year, it barely makes a dent. The new move to increase speeding fines aims to cover some of this shortfall.
Another proposal, currently being considered, is that all sentenced criminals will face a surcharge levy, regardless of their crime. The amount would obviously depend on the severity of the offence and would begin at £20, but could possibly reach £120 for more serious crimes.
The £120 levy could be enforced if anyone was sent to jail for two years or more. Those who were sent to prison for less than this amount of time, would have to pay a £80 charge.
Any Further Changes?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) is also under threat – this is a taxpayer-funded benefit that allows criminals to claim compensation for becoming a victim themselves. For example, many prisoners are severely injured in prison.
In 2012, more than 3,000 prisoners claimed CICS compensation. This accounted for £75 million in payouts over the last decade. Within this timeframe, more than 20,000 prisoners have benefited.
However, Kenneth Clarke is adamant that those who suffer mild injuries in prison should not be entitled to lump sum compensatory payouts. Instead, politicians will target those who have suffered greater injuries (which is code for ‘we don’t want to pay for this anymore; we’ll take away as many benefits as we possibly can’).
And the money-leeching doesn’t stop there. Yet more proposals call for further adjustments in the law. At the moment, the Government deducts £5 a week from the benefits of anyone who commits an offence. However, this amount may rise to £25, to make offenders pay more for their crimes – nevertheless, a UK road offence firm, drivingoffence.com on their speeding page have specific guidelines on the matter.