Law Enforcement

Fixed Penalties
(Fines & Endorsements)

Introduction
The basis for Fines or Fixed Penalty Notices as they are now referred to (including endorsements) has changed. An increasing number of offences can now be dealt with by Fixed Penalty Notices. They are commonly used for cases where there is photographic evidence, specifically speeding, traffic light contraventions and failing to comply with yellow box junctions and no right/left turns.

Although the Fixed Penalty would normally be a conditional offer of 3 penalty points and a 60 fine, for some more serious offences, such as driving without insurance, a higher number of penalty points and larger fine are generally imposed.

The benefit of this system to the Police is that it disposes of matters promptly and avoids a Court appearance which is attractive to many offenders. However, it should be appreciated that when accepting a Fixed Penalty, a motorist cannot negotiate or try to obtain a more lenient outcome, acceptance is final.
NB If you are in any doubt about how to proceed, it is advisable to use the 28 day acceptance period in order to consider your options.

Following a contravention, all drivers may pay a fixed penalty to avoid conviction for certain traffic and vehicle related offences. Where a Police Officer has reason to believe a person is committing or has committed a fixed penalty offence, he/she may issue a fixed penalty ticket. It is standard practice also to give the driver a notice to produce his vehicle test certificate and certificate of insurance (a producer).

Where a Police Officer has reason to believe that, in respect of any stationary vehicle, a fixed penalty offence is being or has been committed, he may put a fixed penalty ticket on that vehicle. A fixed penalty ticket may not be fixed to a vehicle for an endorsable offence. Neither may a fixed penalty ticket be given to a person for an endorsable offence unless:

Fixed penalty tickets for endorsable offences are yellow and for non-endorsable offences white. Fixed penalty offences include:

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Fixed penalty tickets may not be issued for causing or permitting a vehicle to be used in breach of the law. Traffic wardens may issue fixed penalty tickets for the following offences only:

Except in Scotland, where a Police Office finds a person has committed or is committing an endorsable fixed penalty offence and he does not produce his driving licence, the Officer may give him a notice stating that:
"If he/she produces their licence at a police station of his choice within seven days, he will then be given a fixed penalty ticket". However, the following conditions will apply:

Generally, the fixed penalty for a non-endorsable offence is currently 30 and for an endorsable offence 60. When a fixed penalty ticket is issued there is generally a 28 day suspended enforcement period. During the suspended enforcement period the person may either:

If he/she does neither, he/she will be fined the fixed penalty plus one half. So the current price fixed penalty ticket incurs a fine of 45 for a non-endorsable offence or 90 for an endorsable offence.

Where a fixed penalty ticket is fixed to a vehicle the registered owner is responsible for paying the penalty if the actual driver does not pay or for requesting a court hearing within 28 days. As tickets may not be fixed to vehicles for endorsable offences, owner liability applies only to non-endorsable offences.

For owner liability to apply the police must serve a Notice to Owner within six months of the issue of the fixed penalty ticket. The Notice to Owner gives details of the alleged offence, requires he/she to complete a statement of ownership and invites he/she to give a statement of facts. Usually this statement identifies the actual driver, who must then either pay the fixed penalty or request a court hearing - otherwise he/she will be fined.

Vehicle owners who receive a Notice to Owner from the police following an alleged offence by a driver must respond - either by paying the fixed penalty or providing the statement of facts. Otherwise they will be fined 45 for a non-endorsable offence.

Graduated Fixed Penalties
On 24th July 2008, the Department for Transport published its consultation document on Graduated Fixed Penalties, Financial Penalty Deposit and Immobilisation Schemes. The purpose of the consultation document is to seek views from stakeholders on the draft Statutory Instruments (SIs) needed to implement the 'graduated fixed penalty and financial penalty deposit schemes'.
The proposed offences likely to be affected by the scheme include:

For further information of what is proposed and expected within this proposed scheme, please visit the page Graduated Fixed Penalties within this section of the site.

Offences and Codes
For further information on endorseable offences, please visit Offences & Codes within this section of the site, where you will find a table of Road Traffic Offences, their codes, penalty points and non-financial penalties (where applicable).

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