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Are Speeding Charges in Scotland Due to Change?

It has been reported that motorists caught speeding in Scotland could be issued with a written warning before being issued with points and a fine.

The proposal would see motorists caught speeding by police officers in 20-30mph zones given a warning instead of an immediate fine. The warning would expire after three months if no further speeding offence was committed during that time – and drivers wouldn’t have to tell insurance companies about it.

Don’t think you’ll be able to start hightailing it through the Country at will however, as charges would still be brought if you’re caught over the speed limit by cameras.

Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, head of road policing at Police Scotland, said: “We are committed to further reducing road casualties and know that many of these are caused by inappropriate speed.

“We need to tackle this in different ways and are therefore looking at whether introducing speed awareness courses in Scotland and/or extending the existing Recorded Police Warning scheme to cover minor motoring infringements may be suitable alternatives to merely issuing tickets.”

If the proposal is given the all-clear, it could be in place in Scotland within a year, but Carle emphasised that the proposals were very much in the planning stages. “We will, in due course, be submitting papers to the Lord Advocate for his consideration. Introducing this scheme requires the approval of the Lord Advocate, and at this stage Police Scotland does not have the IT capability to use RPWs for motoring offences, so this initiative must be considered as an early-stage proposal.”

He added that “Police officers do already have some discretion to verbally warn drivers when appropriate.”

Such changes to speeding charges would be a welcome move for many motorists, who argue that such ‘low level’ speeding cases ought to be treated less harshly than more excessive speeds. Such a change would be a change of pace for Police Scotland, who have prioritised Fixed Penalties over the introduction of Speed Awareness Courses that are offered for similar speeding cases in England.

Any proposed changes will undoubtedly spark an intriguing debate and we will keep you updated on any developments.