Fixed Penalties, Fines & Endorsements
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.
If a driver receives a fixed penalty from a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) officer or the police, the amount payable could depend on the circumstances and seriousness of the offence.
Offences attracting fines include:
- a vehicle weighing more than its maximum permitted weight
- driving for too long without taking a break
- a vehicle not being roadworthy e.g. if it has a bald tyre
Fines of between £50 and £300 can be issued. More serious offences will be dealt with by the courts where a magistrate will determine the level of the fine.
Endorsements to a driving licence
For some offences, points, known as endorsements may be added to a licence in addition to a fine. For example, if a vehicle has defective brakes, a £100 fine will be issued and 3 points added to a licence.
If the offence is 'endorsable a driving licence must also be presented to the court within 14 days.
Fixed Penalty Notices
When a fixed penalty notice is issued the driver must be able to supply a valid UK address for contact purposes. Bed and breakfast, hotel, agency or solicitor addresses are not normally accepted.
If a satisfactory UK address has been supplied, then within 28 days of the notice being issued, a driver has 28 days to either:
- pay the fine
- ask for a court hearing if there is a wish to appeal
In Scotland, a ‘conditional offer’ will be issued instead of a fixed penalty notice and 28 days given from the date of issue to pay the fine. After this, there is a chance of prosecution if the fine is not paid.
If a satisfactory UK address is not supplied there will be a ‘financial penalty deposit’ to pay.
This will be either:
- the total of all fixed penalty notices issued. If an appeal is to be made this must be submitted within 28 days.
- £500 per offence if the case is to go to court, Payment has to be made on the spot and attendance at court at a later date.
In both cases, the maximum amount to pay as a deposit is £1,500. This must be paid straight away, and failure to pay may result in being stopped from driving the vehicle.
The money from deposits is used to pay any fixed penalties or court fines. A refund of any money left over from the deposit will be made after all fines have been paid.
A vehicle will be immobilised if the deposit is not paid – see separate page dealing with immobilisation within this section.