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FAQ's - If you have been caught speeding

The Fixed Penalty Office has now moved to Southend on Sea

All enquiries regarding driving licences and fines should be directed to

The Conditional Offer Unit
PO Box 5992
Southend on Sea  SS1 9PX

Telephone  01702 283860

Payments may be made by debit or credit card using the automated system on  0300 123 1481

Cheques, Postal or Money Orders should be crossed and made payable to 'HMCTS'

If you wish to pay in cash this must be sent by Registered Post.

*Please note that payment cannot be made at a Police Station.

The following FAQs apply if you have been caught speeding. If you want to read our general FAQs please click here.

  1. I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution. What happens now?
  2. What is a conditional offer?
  3. How long will the penalty points stay on my licence?
  4. My driving licence is at the DVLA / has been lost / has been stolen. What can I do?
  5. Can I have a higher fine and no points?
  6. Can I challenge the notice of intended prosecution?
  7. What if I decide to take the matter to court?
  8. There is a mistake on the notice. Does this mean that I can refuse to pay?
  9. Are my human rights infringed if I reply to this paperwork?
  10. How can you prove that the camera is accurate?
  11. I was travelling through roadworks at night when no work was taking place. Why was I caught?
  12. How was I supposed to know I was in a 30 mph area, I did not see any speed limit signs?
  13. I couldn’t stop safely for the red light because the vehicle behind me was too close and I might have caused an accident. Why should I be fined?
  14. I have been told that there is no requirement to sign the Notice of Intended Prosecution
  15. I’m not sure who was driving at the time of the offence, what can I do?

01 - I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution. What happens now?

You need to complete and sign Part 1 of the notice if you were the driver at the time of the offence. If you were not the driver please complete the relevant section. Please return the notice to the Safety Camera Unit as soon as possible. At this point DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY OR YOUR DRIVING LICENCE. You will then receive a ‘conditional offer’ of a fixed penalty notice – unless your speed is excessive, in which case you will receive a summons from the Magistrate’s Court.

02 - What is a conditional offer?

This gives you the opportunity of settling the matter without having to go to court. The fine is £100 and you will also have three penalty points added to your driving licence. Please remember – you will be required to produce your driving licence and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is current and valid. If the address on your licence is out of date you should still send it with your payment

03 - How long will the penalty points stay on my licence?

Penalty points are valid for a period of three years but cannot be removed from your licence until four years have elapsed.

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04 - My driving licence is at the DVLA / has been lost / has been stolen. What can I do?

Please contact the Safety Camera Unit immediately. If your licence has been stolen you will need to quote a crime reference number. If necessary we can suspend prosecution for a short period to allow the licence to be renewed. Failure to do this may result in a summons being initiated.

05 - Can I have a higher fine and no points?

No. The fixed penalty amount is set by the Government within the road traffic legislation and is, therefore, not negotiable.

06 - Can I challenge the notice of intended prosecution?

You have the right to challenge this in court. The Magistrates will then determine any fine and penalty points awarded. You are reminded that the courts have the right to increase the fine and penalty points awarded if they see fit. You may also be ordered to pay court costs.

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07- What if I decide to take the matter to court?

You should allow the 28 day conditional offer period to elapse. A summons will then be issued to you. On this summons you will be given the opportunity to write any mitigating circumstance you would like the Magistrate to consider.

08 - There is a mistake on the notice. Does this mean that I can refuse to pay?

Errors in date, time, vehicle registration number or speed, which are caused by clerical error, will not invalidate the notice. The notice will be amended and re-issued.

09 - Are my human rights infringed if I reply to this paperwork?

Your human rights are not affected by completing and returning the paperwork. In addition, Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 requires the keeper of a vehicle to provide the information on who was driving when the offence was committed. Failure to supply these details, or sign the form, will render you liable for prosecution.

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10 - How can you prove that the camera is accurate?

All equipment is tested and operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions on every occasion it is used. A calibration certificate is renewed annually in accordance with Home Office regulations. This forms part of police evidence and can only be produced in court.

11 - I was travelling through roadworks at night when no work was taking place. Why was I caught?

All speed limits are mandatory 24 hours a day, every day of the year. At night you could encounter shift workers walking home, people walking their dogs, cars broken down or unknown, dangerous driving conditions.

12 - How was I supposed to know I was in a 30 mph area, I did not see any speed limit signs?

The Highway Code clearly states that, in an area with a system of street lighting, the 30 mph limit applies to all traffic unless signs show otherwise.

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13 - I couldn’t stop safely for the red light because the vehicle behind me was too close and I might have caused an accident. Why should I be fined?

The view captured on camera can prove whether or not there was a following vehicle. However, whatever the situation, you have the responsibility to ensure that you always drive at an appropriate speed in anticipation of a traffic light change.

14 - I have been told that there is no requirement to sign the Notice of Intended Prosecution

Anyone refusing to sign, or supply full details on the Notice of Intended Prosecution, will be prosecuted.

15 - I’m not sure who was driving at the time of the offence, what can I do?

It is the responsibility of the registered keeper to provide the full name and address of the driver at the time of the offence. Failure to provide this information will result in a court summons.

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