What happens now?
The offence is detected by one of two types of speed camera operation:
Auto detection (speed or redlight)
Offences are detected automatically by a fixed roadside speed or redlight camera. We use four types of fixed cameras: Gatso and Truvelo which use wet-film loaded into the camera housing and then unloaded to be taken for processing, and RedSpeed, which is digital and sends images of offences via a broadband telephone link; and finally, SPECS time-over-distance average speed equipment which records data on computer disks.
Manual detection (speed only)
Offences are detected by a mobile camera device, which is set up either by the roadside or in a specialised vehicle, and operated by a Traffic Support Officer. We use one type of mobile camera, the LTI 20-20 Ultralite 1000. This device is used in conjunction with a digital video system which records the offence.
After examining the photograph and reading the vehicle’s number plate, a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is sent within fourteen days of the detection of the alleged offence to the last known address of the Registered Keeper, as recorded by DVLA. This Notice specifies the nature of the alleged offence and the time, date and place where it is alleged to have been committed. If the offence relates to speeding then the recorded speed is shown.
The registered keeper receives the NIP, together with a notice requiring the name and address of the driver at the time of the alleged offence. In many cases the owner was the driver but if it was someone else, then the keeper is legally obliged to tell us who the driver was. If a person, other than the keeper, is nominated then a further NIP is sent to that nominated person. The paperwork should NOT be handed to the driver - he/she will receive their documents later from us. (NB - There is no legal requirement for the police to send these subsequent NIPs out within fourteen days.)
Depending on the recorded speed, and other eligibility checks, the driver may be offered a speed awareness course or sent a ‘Conditional Offer’ i.e. an option to dispose of the matter by payment of a £100 penalty payment plus licence endorsement of three points. If the degree of speeding is excessive or there are already nine points on the driving licence then the case will go before a Magistrates' Court.
On receipt of the Conditional Offer the driver can choose to pay a fixed penalty of £100 and enclose their driving licence to be endorsed with three penalty points by sending it to the appropriate payments office. (NB If the driving licence is already endorsed with nine current penalty points then it cannot be endorsed further without the holder becoming disqualified from driving. In that case, the Conditional Offer system is not applicable and the matter must be dealt with by a magistrates' court.)
The Conditional Offer process to pay a fixed penalty of £100 and receive three penalty points on your licence is designed to speed up the process without having to take the matter through the Courts system. The Fixed Penalty system was introduced to offer drivers the opportunity of accepting a nominal standardised set fine and points if they accept the offence. If you intend to contest the offence, put forward mitigating or special circumstances, or wish to be provided with all evidence, you must reply to the Conditional Offer Notice and request a court hearing to have the case dealt with by the Magistrates Courts.