Drivers warned to watch their speed as tougher fines come into play

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South Tyneside drivers are being warned to watch their speeds as tougher penalties come into force.

From this week, police will be able to issue bigger fines to speeding motorists.

The changes have been welcomed by Northumbria Police’s Operation Dragoon team and Dame Vera Baird QC, Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

A change in sentencing guidelines means that courts can hand out longer sentences and higher fines.

In accordance with the new regulations, anyone caught driving at more than 101mph in a 70mph zone could be disqualified for up to 56 days and fined up to 175 per cent of their weekly income.

Those caught doing 41mph in a 20mph zone, 51mph in a 30mph zone or 66mph in a 40mph zone could be fined up to 150 per cent of their weekly income.

Drivers will also face points, or a disqualification depending on the offence.

Motor Patrols Inspector Dave Little, of the Operations Department for Northumbria Police, has said road safety is top of the agenda for the force and has welcomed the change in legislation.

He said: “We firmly support these tougher penalties coming into force and hope to see them acting as a deterrent against excessive speeding. “Those who choose to break the speed limit are putting lives at risk and causing danger to other road users.

“The devastation that can result from speeding is unspeakable. Officers will continue to carry out operations across the region to ensure the safety of pedestrians and other road users.”

Anyone who wants to report a driver who is behaving in a careless or dangerous manner should contact the Op Dragoon team on 101.