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The penalties for drivers caught breaking speed limits have increased now new sentencing guidelines have taken effect.

The new fines came into force on April 24 and mean drivers responsible for high-speed offences will now be given harsher fines, under a series of strict new rules for district judges and magistrates.

They could be fined 150 per cent of their weekly income, rather than the existing level of 100 per cent.

This includes drivers caught doing 41 mph in a 20 mph area, 51 mph in a 30 mph area or 66 mph in a 40 mph area.

Currently in the UK, the minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your driving licence, while the maximum fine is £1000 or £2500 for motorway offences.

Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions was recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor of 23 per cent of fatal crashes in 2015.

A survey by road safety charity Brake found that four in 10 (40 per cent) UK drivers admitted they sometimes drive at 30 mph in 20 mph zones.

Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, said: “Toughening the fines and penalties for speeding is long overdue. As a charity that offers a support service to families bereaved and injured in road crashes, we see every day the consequences of speeding on our roads.

“I hope magistrates ensure the new sentences are consistently applied.”