Speed cameras

Pupils ask me about speed cameras and what happens if they are caught.

I have been teaching for over 15 years, given hours of tuition and never had anyone caught speeding, because it is not going to happen, pupils are made aware of their speed and the local limit – and who gets the points and fine.



The best way to not get caught is simple – keep your speed under control – almost certainly a serious fault and instant fail on your test.


What happens if a learner is caught speeding?

If a learner is caught speeding, then the learner – that is the DRIVER, takes the fine and the points.

It is not the fault of the accompanying driver – instructor, relative, mate or whatever and they do not get fined or receive any points – they are not the driver.

If learners were exempt then nobody would ever bother passing a test; as a learner they’d be untouchable.

UK law says that the driver is responsible for the offence and that only the driver can be prosecuted.

The fact that you’re still a learner driver is neither here nor there, and you will be dealt with in the same way.

Being on a driving lesson, a driving test, in a dual controlled car, with a driving instructor, an examiner or your dad, even on your very first driving lesson in a dual controlled car makes no difference at all.


The legal keeper of the car is sent a letter asking who was driving at the time.

They cannot lie and take points for you, even if they want to. Remember the MP and his ex-wife.


They both went to prison. Do not even think about it.

The keeper must name the person that was driving at the time and return the form to the Police who will then chase up the driver.

I keep my diaries for 7 years, it is for tax reasons, but I can still say who was driving at any time.

They could also have a photo of you driving from the speed camera so do not lie or you can find yourself in really serious trouble.

If you are a learner driver that gets caught speeding then you are sometimes offered the chance to go on a driver improvement course which costs around £110 – which you pay for – and you will avoid getting points. This is a one or two day course where you get to see footage of accidents caused by speeding and the reasons behind speed limits are explained.

Perhaps they work well but I did hear about someone who got nicked for speeding the very next day.


Of course we do our best to stop this happening but it is ultimately up to the learner as they are the driver. If you do not like the heat then get out of the kitchen

But the instructor has dual controls and can see the speedo as well?

Having dual controls makes no difference to who is driving the car. You don’t have to have dual controls when supervising a learner and even if they are fitted it may not be safe to use them. What if learners practice in their own car with a parent and they don’t have dual controls? How is the accompanying driver supposed to slow a learner down then?

But I didn’t think I’d get the penalty, I thought my instructor would?

It really irritates me when learners say this. What you’re really saying is that you didn’t care that you were breaking the law, because you thought the offence would be ignored, and someone else would be punished.

You also didn’t care that they could lose their business their livelihood, and their home. Does that really sound fair to you?

A boy pupil passed his test and months later his parents complained because he’d got caught speeding. Three months after passing and still they’re trying to blame the instructor who wasn’t there! Why not have a go at the examiner as well. How many hours had they themselves spent as passengers in his car?

How would I know if I was caught?

The registered keeper of the vehicle must get a letter through the post within 14 days of the offence. If they don’t then the whole prosecution is invalid. If you were driving someone else’s vehicle at the time, such as a driving school car, then the actual driver of the vehicle may eventually get the letter later than the 14 day period. In that case the prosecution is still valid. The only exception to this rule is if postal strikes delay the delivery of the letter or keeper takes weeks to send the letter on to you, in which case they can end up being prosecuted!

For example; you own a car and get a letter after 10 days saying that they intend to prosecute you. That is valid and the prosecution will go ahead. If however the letter was sent to a driving school car hire company after 10 days and they then send it on to your instructor who then sends it on to you, it could be outside of the 14 day period that you actually get the letter but it is still valid as the first person in the chain (the registered keeper of the car) had the letter within 14 days. In reality it would only take a company a few minutes to look up the driver of a hired car and so it would probably only make a difference of a day or two.

The letters are sent through normal post so you don’t have to sign for them. Changing your address or hoping that it will get delayed in the post won’t work. If you don’t reply they’ll just send another. If you don’t reply to that then they’ll send a Police officer round to your house with the ticket and it just gets worse.

What fine am I likely to get?

It depends on how fast you were going but the usual fine is 3 points on your licence and a £100 fine. If it was a rental car that you were driving then they usually add a £25+ admin charge on for sending you the paperwork.

Doing 35mph in a 30mph zone would be 3 points but 50mph in a 30mph zone means a court appearance and usually 6 points. 96mph+ in any speed zone is an instant ban, if you haven’t been killed in a crash anyway!

How much margin for error is there?

This varies across the country but the most common allowance is 10% of the limit plus 2 mph so you would be caught at 35mph in a 30mph zone and nothing less is prosecuted. The 10% allows for a difference between your speedo and theirs and the 2mph on top is because nearly all car speedos show less than you’re actually doing. Try comparing your cars speedo with a sat nav and you might see a difference of up to 10%.

“My friend got caught and they were only 1 mph over the limit”


I have heard piece of tosh so many times, the Police will not proceed for anything less than 35mph in a 30mph zone. Speedos always read higher by about 2 mph. I’ve been in dozens of cars over the years, and found that to be true.

If you got caught doing 35mph then your speedo would have read around 40mph. You weren’t just a bit over, you were 10mph over – that’s over 33% above the limit!

What will points on my licence mean?

Well you shouldn’t be going so fast and nobody wants points but getting 3 points on your licence is not the end of the world.

Would it surprise you to know that there are driving instructors, examiners, police and people in all jobs who have points on their licence?

It doesn’t make you a bad person and an online insurance quote for a new driver with 3 points it only increased the insurance by £55.

Depending on what you want to do for a living, where you live and how serious the offence was, it can have different consequences.


A speeding tale

Just to show you how silly some people are when it comes to speed, here’s a conversation I overheard from a teenage girl.  What do you think?

Girl – My dad is so upset. He got a speeding ticket.

Me – What happened?

Girl – It’s so bloody unfair. The limit  goes 30, 40, 30, 40, 30, 40 and he didn’t know what the limit was.

Me – So was he doing 40 in the 30 zone?

Girl – No he was doing 63!