Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been around for more than 50 years and are used for a wide range of anti-social behaviour offences, public disorder offences and environmental offences such as littering as well as for many motoring offences.
An FPN 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’ll be summonsed to appear in court.
For drivers, FPNs are widely used to enforce 'moving traffic offences' like:
- Traffic light offences
- Restricted turns
- No entry, and
- Box junctions
They’re also used for parking offences on red routes and zig zags and to enforce parking restrictions where parking enforcement hasn’t been decriminalised – in many areas parking is now mostly dealt with as a civil matter by local authority Civil Enforcement Officers who issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).
Depending on the offence an FPN may be either just a fine or may include penalty points on your licence.
There aren’t any formal grounds for appeal in the case of an FPN.
- If you pay the fine within 28 days, then no further action will be taken
- If you don't agree that you committed the offence, then your only option is to request a court hearing.
- The fines that can be imposed by the courts if you’re found guilty are much greater than the original fixed penalty.
Example offences and penalties
Since August 2013 the police have been able to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for careless driving offences previously dealt with in court, so you could now get an FPN for tailgating and middle lane hogging.
£50 non-endorseable FPN
- Not following traffic signs – give way, roundabout vehicle priority, box junction road markings)
- Negligent use of motor vehicle – not in proper control, driver not having full view ahead, opening a door as to cause injury
- Vehicle registration and licence offences – registration mark not easily readable
- Motorway offences – stopping vehicle on hard shoulder
- Vehicle or part in dangerous or defective condition – windows not clear and unobstructed, no windscreen wipers
- Neglect of pedestrian rights – driving elsewhere than on the road
- Lighting offences – lamps not showing a steady light, misuse of head or fog lamps
- Noise offences – causing unnecessary noise, sounding horn at night
- Load offences – exceeding weight restriction
- Cycle and motorcycle offences –cycling on a foot path, not wearing protective headgear for motorcyclists
£100 endorseable FPN
- Speeding offences
- Motorway offences – reversing on a motorway, driving on the hard shoulder or central reservation
- Careless driving – tailgating, middle lane hogging
- Neglect of traffic directions – not stopping at red traffic light
- Neglect of pedestrian rights – stopping within the limits of a zebra, pelican or puffin crossing
- Load offences – danger of injury due to the number of passengers or the manner in which they’re carried
- Motorcycle offences – carrying more than one passenger
£100 non-endorseable FPN
- Failure to wear a seat belt while driving
- Vehicle test offence – using a vehicle without an MOT
£200 endorseable FPN
- Duty to identify driver
- Using a hand held mobile phone while driving (£200 and 6 points from 1 March 2017)
£300 endorseable FPN
- Driving without third-party insurance