Tickets and traffic offence reports

Traffic Offence Reports can be given for a road traffic offence, such as speeding, and Penalty Notices for disorder relating to minor anti-social behaviour or nuisance. These exist to enable Police officers to quickly process minor driving offences quickly. Once your Traffic Offence Report has been processed you may be issued with the offer of a Fixed Penalty. Acceptance of a Fixed Penalty does not constitute an admission of guilt on the part of the person in receipt of it, and neither does it constitute part of a criminal record. The alternatives that may be offered to you could be the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme or court appearance.

Traffic Offence Reports

Police have a number of powers aimed at keeping our roads safe. In the following text is a summary and FAQS of situations where you may be pulled over by the police, plus advice on your rights and responsibilities.

You are given a Traffic Offence Report because the issuing officer believes there is sufficient evidence to prosecute you for an offence; however you may benefit from attending a driver training course as an alternative to a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a court appearance. Northumbria Police is committed to road safety and participates in the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS), seeking to educate rather than prosecute.

You may be eligible for a NDORS course depending on:

  • the nature of the offence
  • your previous record of offending (if any)
  • any previous course you have attended or are waiting to attend as a result of committing a previous offence Fixed penalty tickets/notices (FPT /FPN) may be issued for road traffic offences, and offer an opportunity to settle an offence without the need to go through the court system.

If you pay a fixed penalty ticket, all liability for the offence is discharged and the offence doesn't form part of your criminal record.A recipient of a fixed penalty notice has two options, either to pay the ticket and surrender their licence where required, or request a court hearing.There are two types of fixed penalty tickets, endorsable and non-endorsable.

As fixed penalty notices do not fall under the definition of a 'relevant matter', they would not be automatically released on a DBS check and as such are not subject to the filtering provisions.


  • The police are under no obligation to offer you a course and if they do it is a concession made by the Chief Constable.
  • Endorsable tickets mean that you will usually mean that you'll get 3 points on your licence and a £100 penalty (note that whilst this is the penalty for the majority of tickets, there are a few variations where it is more or less, not having insurance is one example).
  • A non-endorsable ticket means that you will receive a £50 fine (some are higher) but do not get any points on your licence.
  • Certain parking offences are eligible for a £30 non-endorsable ticket (£40 in Greater London).The type of FPN you receive depends on the offence you have committed. Some offences cannot be dealt with by way of a FPN or the police officer may think that the circumstances are too serious, in either case you may be reported for summons to go to court.A few examples of endorsable and non endorsable tickets are:


  • speeding
  • going through a red light
  • using a mobile phone whilst driving
  • pedestrian crossing offences
  • no insurance (£300 and 6 penalty points)


  • drive a vehicle with no MOT (£100)
  • fail to comply with some traffic signs e.g. give way sign/road markings, roundabout sign, vehicle priority sign
  • failing to wear a seatbelt
  • parking offences

Local Authority Civilian Enforcement Officers may also issue fixed penalty tickets for a range of offences e.g. parking, selling/repairing vehicles at the roadside or abandoned vehicles.

If you have an issues with a ticket make sure you contact the agency who has issued it, as the police have nothing to do with tickets issued by Local Authority Civilian Enforcement Officers and vice versa.

Traffic Offence Reports FAQs

What happens if I get stopped?

Under section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, the Police have the power to stop a vehicle at any time - they don't need to give you a reason - and failing to stop is a criminal offence.

If stopped by the Police, you may be asked to produce documents including:

  • driving licence
  • insurance certificate
  • vehicle registration document

What's a Traffic Offence Report (TOR)?

If you've committed a minor traffic offence, like not wearing a seatbelt or driving with a broken headlight, the police may issue you with a Traffic Offence Report that may result in a one-off fine called a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty notice.

There are two types:

  • Non-endorsable offences - which don't result in points on your licence, e.g. failing to wear a seatbelt, unnecessary obstruction
  • Endorsable offences - which will result in points on your licence, e.g. excess speed, contravening a red traffic light signal

In most cases Police do not have the power to make you pay fines on the spot.

I’ve Been Issued with a TOR, What Happens Next?

Do not do anything until you receive written instruction from Northumbria Police.

Please do not attempt to contact this office as we will not be able to deal with any queries until this point.

In due course you will receive communication advising you of the options available to you. These will either be the offer of a diversionary course, a Fixed Penalty Notice or a Court hearing.


If you are offered a Fixed Penalty Notice it has to be paid, or a Court hearing requested, within 28 days of being issued to avoid being reported for prosecution. The only method of applying to make payment in instalments is to request a Court hearing and apply for a payment plan, however this may incur additional Court costs and a Court record for the offence.


If you feel a penalty notice is unjust, you can choose not to pay the fine and argue your case in Court. Please note that the Court does not have the facility to offer a course for the offence, only a fine and penalty points where relevant.

If you do pay the fine, you won't be prosecuted and there will be no criminal record created against you.

What are the Driving Courses?

Diversionary courses may be available for offences that meet the criteria. These are designed to re-educate offenders to improve road safety. Examples of these include:







Speed Awareness Course



Excess speed offences

30mph speed limit – up to 42mph

40mph speed limit – up to 53mph

50mph speed limit – up to 64mph

60mph speed limit – up to 75mph

70mph speed limit – up to 86mph


Classroom based – 4hrs


What’s Driving Us? Course

Other motoring offences, e.g. contravening a red traffic light, using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving etc.

Red light offences – No more than 3 seconds of red light time



Classroom based – 3 ½hrs

Your Belt, Your Life Course

Failing to wear a seat belt

Only 1 course in a 3 year period

Online or booklet

These courses are discretionary and are not an entitlement.

If you are eligible for one of these courses you will receive further information on how to book and pay.

If you have already completed a course within the last 3 years you will not be eligible for an offer of the same course.

All courses must be paid for at the time of booking and completed within 4 months of the original offence date.

If you are offered the option of completing a course this is one of the three disposal options available to you. If you make a payment of the £100 Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty the course offer will automatically be withdrawn, regardless of whether you have already booked and paid to attend, and cannot be re-instated. Therefore please ensure that you read any documentation sent to you by this office carefully before complying with one of the options available to you.

Can I go on a speed awareness course instead of having points on my licence?

You can't suggest that you want to do a Speed Awareness Course, if you are eligible to attend the course you will be notified by the police. The criteria operated by each Police Force in relation to attending SACs differs slightly. The following are the guidelines operated by one police force:

  • You have admitted to being the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence and returned the documentation within the 28 day period calculated from the date the notice was sent to you.
  • No more than 12 weeks have elapsed since the date of the alleged offence.
  • There were no further offences committed at the time of the alleged offence.
  • You have not attended a speed awareness course within the 3 years prior to the current offence.
  • You were driving at a speed which qualifies as per the table below.


Device tolerance

Fixed Penalty when education is not appropriate

Speed Awareness if appropriate

Summons in all other cases and above



20 mph

22 mph

24 mph

24 mph

31 mph

35 mph

30 mph

32 mph

35 mph

35 mph

42 mph

50 mph

40 mph

42 mph

46 mph

46 mph

53 mph

66 mph

50 mph

52 mph

57 mph

57 mph

64 mph

76 mph

60 mph

62 mph

68 mph

68 mph

75 mph

86 mph

70 mph

73 mph

79 mph

79 mph

86 mph

96 mph

All speeds identified above are those shown on the speed device, speedometer or other detection devices

Please note that because the guidelines differ from one force to another, if you have a particular question in relation to your eligibility to attend the course, you will need to contact your local police using the non-emergency 101 number and ask to speak to someone in either the Central Ticket Office/Process Bureau or Fixed Penalty Office (names vary between different police forces). You may need to keep trying the number because the lines are usually very busy.

Ticket FAQ

What will happen if I don't pay the fine on a fixed penalty notice?

There are two ways of failing to pay a fine on a fixed penalty notice -

  1. You reject the fixed penalty notice from the start. You will receive a summons to go to court. You can either then plead guilty by letter or elect to go to court. If found guilty at court you may be given a slightly larger fine and you will have to pay the court costs (approximately £40).
  2. You accept the penalty notice, but then fail to pay. The fine is registered with the court and is automatically increased by 50%. It is then for the court to enforce the fine and they do have the option of issuing a warrant for your arrest if you fail to respond.

Can I challenge the fixed penalty notice?

Yes, you can plead not guilty to the fixed penalty notice; there will be information on how to so on the reverse of the ticket. The police cannot offer legal advice on this so we would suggest that you seek legal support from a solicitor or visit for further information.

You will still be required to produce your documents at your chosen police station but you can retain your licence and the ticket. You will then be sent a summons in due course with a date for the court hearing. For any further enquiries relating to a fixed penalty notice, you will need to contact the Central Ticket Office within your local police force.


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