Drivers who challenge speeding fines should be made to pay their legal bills even if they win their case, ministers said yesterday.
The proposal would see successful defendants lose their century-old right to claim back their costs.
A change in the law would affect many of the 1.7million drivers a year who take their cases to court.
It costs around £1,500 to fight charges of speeding, illegal parking and other motoring offences.
Motoring groups and lawyers said the proposal was a breach of fundamental legal principles.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: 'This is against the common law and against the common man. If you prove your innocence you shouldn't have to pay for it.'
Ian Kelcey, head of the Law Society's criminal law committee, called the scheme a disgrace.
He added: 'This means that an awful lot of people will not be able to get a fair trial. They will not be able to get a proper defence.'