FAQs Speeding Offences
Here are some of the most popular questions asked about speeding offences;
Q - Will I be offered a driver education course instead of points?
The offer of a Driver Awareness Scheme (DAS) course is a decision made by the DAS office on behalf of Dorset Police once the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence has been established. Strict criteria must be met before any DAS course is offered.
If you wish to take part in the Driver Awareness Course, you only need to tick this option on the Notice Of Intended Prosecution
What happens next?
If an individual is eligible for a DAS course, they will receive an offer letter from the DAS office. If you wish to decline the course, this will need to be indicated on the DAS offer letter. The case will then be referred back to the Central Ticket Office where a Fixed Penalty (which consists of a fine of £60 and 3 penalty points) or court hearing offer will be made. The matter may result in a summons to court if the fixed penalty process is not complied with.
Q - I do not live in Dorset, can I attend a course local to me?
No. Currently we are unable to offer our course outside of Dorset.
We will endeavour to accommodate courses around previous commitments as long as they
are notified to us on the initial acceptance form.
However, we do have strict timescales in which you must attend a course. If in doubt, please
contact the Driver Awareness Scheme (DAS) Office on 01305 227670.
Q - How many points do I get on my licence if I accept a fixed penalty for a speeding/red light offence and how much is the fine?
Currently a speeding / red light offence carries 3 penalty points and a fixed fine of £60.
Q - I have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and I already have nine penalty points on my licence what should I do?
If you were the driver at the time of the offence and receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution you should complete the form in full and return it to the Central Ticket Office at Dorset Police. If you already have 9 points on your driving licence and you meet the criteria for a Driver Awareness Course you may be offered this option. If you decline this option with 9 valid points on your driving licence, you will not be eligible to take part in the fixed penalty process and the matter will be referred to court.
Q - How long will the penalty points stay on my driving licence?
Penalty points for speeding and red light violations are valid for three years from the date of the offence, but must remain on your licence for four years.
If you are a new driver under the New Drivers Act your driving licence will be revoked if you build up six or more penalty points within the first two years of passing your first driving test. This means you will need to reapply for your driving licence as a learner driver and re-sit your driving test.
If you have been driving for over 2 years since passing your driving test and incur 12 or more penalty points within a three-year period, you face disqualification.
For more information about driving licence endorsements, contact the DVLA by visiting http://www.dvla.gov.uk
Q - I think I have been caught speeding what happens next?
If you have, or think you have been caught by a speed or red light camera, the registered keeper of the vehicle (as registered on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Association (DVLA) database) will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) from Dorset Police within 14 days of the alleged offence.
The NIP will ask the registered keeper of the vehicle to confirm the identity of the driver at the time of the offence.
Important - if you elect another driver do not pass the NIP to them, you must complete part 2 of the NIP with the full details of the nominated driver at the time of the offence and return it to the Central Ticket Office at Dorset Police within 28 days (to the address given). The Central Ticket Office will then send a new NIP to the driver you nominated.
If you are not nominating another driver and wish to contest the offence in court, there is the option on the NIP to elect a court hearing.
If the NIP is received by us within the given 28 days with the driver admission, then the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence will be sent a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty (COFP) or if the offence falls within the strict criteria, the driver may receive an offer to attend a Driver Awareness Scheme course (DAS).
You will not be sent a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty (COFP) if;
- At the time of committing an offence the drivers licence already has 9 points on it or the Driver Awareness Course is not applicable.
- The speed was excessive (26mph or more above the signed limit),
- If it was a red light offence and the red light had been illuminated for 3 second or more
- the driver will be dealt with directly by the Magistrates' Court and will not receive a COFP.
The course costs £110 but no penalty points/endorsement will be received. For speed and red light offences click Driver Awareness Thresholds to see if the offence is within the parameters of the DAS Scheme.
The COFP offers the driver at the time of offence the opportunity of accepting a fixed penalty notice of £60 and accepting 3 points on their licence.
To summarise: once a driver has admitted to being the driver at the time of the offence they normally* have 3 options:
1. Elect a court hearing
2. Elect to accept a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty (COFP)
3. If they meet the strict criteria they may be offered the opportunity of attending a DAS course
If the driver chooses not to accept the COFP, the matter will be referred to the courts. If found guilty by a magistrate, the driver may have to pay court costs, plus up to the maximum penalty of £1000, receive between 3-6 points on their licence and possible disqualification.
*If at the time of committing an offence, the drivers licence already has 9 points on it and the Driver Awareness Course is not applicable. Click to view Driver Awareness Thresholds and/or the speed was excessive (26mph or more above the signed limit), the driver will be dealt with directly by the Magistrates' Court and will not receive a COFP.
Warning: Failure to provide information to identify the driver could result in the prosecution of the registered keeper of the vehicle with a maximum financial penalty of £1000, an endorsement of 6 penalty points on their licence and possible disqualification.
Any enquires relating to a NIP or COFP must only be directed to the following address:
Central Ticket Office
NOTE: It has been confirmed by the Information Commissioners Office that questions submitted regarding an offence WILL NOT delay the prosecution process.
The prosecution process as detailed on this website for traffic offences comply with all current legislation including : Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE), Criminal Procedure & Investigations Act, European Human Rights, Data Protection Act & Freedom of Information Act.
Q - Can I see photographic evidence of the alleged offence?
Yes, if you write to The Central Ticket Office at the address at the top of the Notice requesting a copy of this evidence, this will be sent to you. The purpose of the photographs is to identify the vehicle and will not necessarily identify who was driving at the time of the offence. A charge for this service may be levied to cover administration costs. It is the registered keepers responsibility to name who was driving the vehicle.
Q - How can you prove the camera is accurate?
All equipment is Home Office Type Approved for use. The equipment is independently checked and calibrated on an annual basis in accordance with Home Office regulations. Once completed the equipment is issued with a calibration certificate.
This forms part of Police evidence and can only be produced in court.
Click here to view example Calibration Certificates
Click here to view example Type Approval Certificates
Each individual offence is subjected to a secondary check before a Notice of intended Prosecution is sent out.
Q - Can I see operator training records?
No, all Dorset Road Safe camera operators are trained and certified by Serco Ltd (UK agents for Gatsometer BV) to operate the equipment.
All operators/trainers hold certificates of competence to evidence they have attended the above training and these certificates may be produced in court as prosecution evidence.
All operations are carried out in accordance with the ACPO Guidelines for the use of enforcement equipment and the operating manuals issued by the manufacturers and/or trainers.
Q - Why was the camera there?
The cameras are there to reduce and prevent road traffic collisions and casualties. These camera locations either have a history of injury collisions or are a concern for public safety.
In Dorset, there are three categories of enforcement site;
- Regular Sites - camera sites selected for continuous enforcement by Dorset Road Safe for casualty reduction and prevention. These sites are enforced on a regular basis. We are required to publish annual collision and casualty figures and the number of Notice Of Intended Prosecutions from each site which can be found by clicking the following links; Fixed Camera Sites Mobile camera sites Red light camera sites
- Speed complaint sites also known as community concern sites. These are locations where we have received complaints of excess speed from members of the public. The sites may not have a history of injury collisions that would warrant the site to be considered as a regular location, but they are still a concern for public safety. Dorset Road Safe visits speed complaint locations as often as deemed necessary, until the speeding issue has dissipated. We are not required to provide site statistics for speed complaint locations and they are therefore not produced or published on our website, as we may only visit these sites once or twice. Once the location has been visited, we then assess whether further visits are necessary.
- Police Officer or Safer Neighbourhood Team enforcement - this can be any location, at any time day or night. Dorset Police are not required to produce collision, casualty or offence statistics.
Q - How can I find out how many Notice of Intended Prosecutions (NIP’s) were issued at an individual camera site?
The number of NIP’s issued at camera sites are added to the site statistics after each financial year audit. Click here to view Fixed camera site statistics, Mobile camera site statistics, Red light camera site statistics
Q - I wasn't driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence, what do I do?
If you were not the driver but are the registered keeper of the vehicle, it is your duty to return the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to the address shown on the NIP with full details of who was driving at the time of the offence.
The vehicle owner has a legal obligation under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to supply this information.
The nominated driver will then receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution in his/her own name. Failure on the part of the registered keeper to provide information on the identity of the driver at the time of an offence could result in prosecution with a maximum financial penalty of £1000, an endorsement of 6 penalty points and possible driving disqualification.
A person who knowingly provides the Police with false information as to the driver of their vehicle or the whereabouts of their vehicle commits a crime of attempting to pervert the course of justice or perverting the course of justice. This is a far more serious crime than the original offence and can carry a prison sentence.
Q - I have received a NIP but I've sold the vehicle - what should I do?
You will need to complete Part 2 of the Notice of Intended Prosecution with the name and address of the person you sold the vehicle to so a Notice of Intended Prosecution can be issued in his/her name. Remember that it is your responsibility as the previous owner to notify the DVLA of any change in ownership of the vehicle, failure to do so is an offence and can result in a fine.
Please note that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) from time to time have a delay in updating records so this should be taken into account.