Fixed penalty notice

Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 Pt. III

Certain offences can be dealt with by fixed penalty notices. The advantage to the Police and the Courts is that it cuts down on cost, time and paperwork. A lot of the relevant offences will be those where photographic evidence of the offence is used as evidence, for example speeding. It can also be dispensed without a court appearance which may appeal to the offender, for example if the offence, and consequent would be court appearance, are far away from the offender's home.

  • The full lists can be found in Schedules III and V of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

                - Schedule III, click here and scroll down to where it has Schedule 3 in red with a white s in a purple surround next to it representing the Scottish schedule.

                - Schedule V, additional offences which may be open to a fixed penalty in Scotland.

  • A fixed penalty is a conditional offer from the prosecution, essentially a take it or leave it option

         - You normally have 28 days to either accept or reject the offer. 

                - If you're not sure what to do then take the 28 day option and talk to your legal representative first.

  • NB In certain cases, doing nothing amounts to acceptance and the relevant penalty will be enforced by the court without a hearing.

  • The majority of fixed penalties will attract a £60 fine and 3 penalty points on your licence.

                - Arguing your case may result in a heavier fine.

• The Court has the option to increase the fine and penalty points if it feels that your arguments have no merit.

               - £60 and 3 points may be the best possible result.

• The Defendant is offered the minimum number of penalty points and a "nominal" fine.
• This stops the Court from means testing the offender before imposing the fine.

• For more serious offences some, not all, police forces may offer a fixed penalty of 6 points and a £200 fine.

• A fixed penalty is exactly that, it is not a start point for negotiation.

              -  If you feel you have a mitigating circumstance for committing the offence, then take the 28 day option and speak to a legal adviser first.
              - Or if you want to argue for a higher fine and less points, you must ask for a court appearance.

• You cannot get a fixed penalty notice if you already points on your licence such that the additional points from the fixed penalty will take you up to, or over, 12; which would result in a ban under the totting up procedure.

• If you are stopped by the Police, it is up to them whether or not they feel a fixed penalty notice is applicable.

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