Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)

Reducing the number of cases dealt with by the courts

Speeding and traffic light offences, restricted turn, no entry and box junction contraventions

Speeding and traffic light offences, restricted turn, no entry and box junction contraventions

Fixed Penalty Notices were introduced more than 50 years ago initially for the Police and Traffic Wardens to deal with minor parking and motoring offences.

The use of FPNs has been extended over the years and they are now also used for a wide range of anti-social behaviour offences, public disorder offences and environmental offences such as littering.

Parking and, in London, many moving traffic offences have largely been decriminalised and are now mostly dealt with as a civil matter by local authority Civil Enforcement Officers who issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).

For drivers, FPNs are widely used to enforce 'moving traffic offences' such as speeding and traffic light offences, restricted turn, no entry and box junction contraventions.

Fixed Penalty Notices are also used to enforce parking restrictions where parking enforcement has not been decriminalised as well as for parking offences on red routes and zig zags.

A fixed penalty notice is a conditional offer – you can accept guilt, pay the fine, take the points and the matter will be closed, or you can reject the offer in which case you will be summonsed to appear in court.

A Fixed Penalty Notice may either be:

  • Endorsable – issued by the police at the time of the offence. You will have to give up your licence at the scene (or within 7 days) for it to be endorsed, as well as pay the fine.
  • Non-Endorsable – no penalty points and a lower fine for minor traffic offences

Appealing against a Fixed Penalty Notice

Unlike Penalty Charge Notices for which regulations make provision for both informal and formal appeals, there are no formal grounds for appeal in the case of a Fixed Penalty Notice.

If you pay the fine within 28 days then the enforcement authority will take no further action and will not pursue prosecution, but if you don't agree that you committed the offence then your only option is to request a court hearing.

Bear in mind, if considering going to court over a Fixed Penalty Notice, that the fines that can be imposed by the courts if you are found guilty are much greater than the original fixed penalty.

Your local Police or local authority website will carry more detailed information specific to the area in which the offence was committed.

Changes to penalty levels and example offences

(Effective from 16 August 2013)

The police get new powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving offences which have previously only been dealt with in court.  This gives them greater flexibility to deal with less serious offences like tailgating and middle lane hogging.  The police will be able to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement and drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.

£30 non-endorseable FPN becomes £50

Examples include:

  • Neglect of traffic regulations (e.g. failing to conform to traffic signs – give way, roundabout vehicle priority, box junction road markings)
  • Negligent use of motor vehicle (e.g. not in proper control, driver not having full view ahead, opening door as to cause injury)
  • Vehicle registration and excise licence offences (e.g. not displaying tax disc, registration mark not easily
  • Motorway offences (e.g. stopping vehicle on hard shoulder)
  • Vehicle or Part in Dangerous of defective condition (e.g. windows not clear and unobstructed, no windscreen wipers)
  • Neglect of Pedestrian Rights (e.g. driving elsewhere than on the road)
  • Lighting offences (e.g. lamps not showing steady light, misuse of head/fog lamps)
  • Noise offences (e.g. causing unnecessary noise, sounding horn at night)
  • Load offences (e.g. exceeding weight restriction)
  • Cycle and motorcycle offences (e.g. cycle on foot path, not wearing protective headgear for motorcyclists)

£60 endorseable FPN becomes £100

Examples include:

  • Using a mobile phone whilst driving
  • Speeding offences
  • Motorway offences (e.g. reversing on a motorway, driving on hard shoulder/central reservation)
  • Careless driving (e.g. tailgating, middle lane hogging)
  • Neglect of traffic directions (e.g. not stopping at red traffic light)
  • Neglect of Pedestrian Rights (e.g. stopping within limits of zebra/pelican/puffin crossing)
  • Load offences (e.g. danger of injury due to number of passengers or manner in which they are carried)
  • Motorcycle offences (e.g. carrying more than one passenger)

£60 non-endorseable FPN becomes £100

Examples include:

  • Failure to wear a seat belt whilst driving
  • Vehicle test offence (use of motor vehicle without test certificate)
  • Miscalleneous offences (failure to display vehicle licence)

£120 endorseable FPN becomes £200

  • Duty to identify driver

£200 endorseable FPN becomes £300

  • Driving without third party insurance

(28 August 2013)