CHANGE: Fines rocket in careless driver crackdown
Lane hoggers, tailgaters and in-car smokers will be targeted from today – and slapped with record-high fine fees – as traffic cops begin their crackdown on ‘careless’ drivers.
In the biggest road policing change in decades, inconsiderate motorists can now be sanctioned, with fixed penalty fees for most offences rocketing to £100 – £40 higher than the previous figure.
Meanwhile, fines for uninsured driving will leap from £200 to £300.
‘Careless’ driving offences will include overtaking on the inside, tailgating, accidentally running red lights, tuning a car radio, smoking, eating and drinking.
While most offenders will be dealt a £100 fine, more serious cases could be taken through the court system.
Despite the crackdown, road safety charity Brake insist fines should be even higher – at least £500 to £1,000 – to reflect the ‘potentially deadly consequences of bad driving’.
Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive of Brake, said: “Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a daily basis, but sadly some drivers remain complacent about the risks and the law.
“Bad driving causes deaths and life-changing injuries that tear families apart and affect whole communities.
“All drivers have a responsibility to ensure they aren’t putting others at risk, and are helping to prevent these needless casualties.
“They can do this by following simple principles, such as slowing down, giving the road their full attention, always belting up, and never driving impaired.
“We hope today’s changes will help to improve driver attitudes and behaviour.
“But we are concerned penalties still aren’t nearly high enough to deter all bad drivers and reflect the potentially appalling consequences of bad driving.”
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) are advising that in-car distractions causing detrimental driving could lead to prosecution, with inconveniencing others not a prerequisite for prosecution.
Simon Best, Chief Executive of the IAM, said: “If the police target the worst and most persistent offenders this could be good news for road safety.
“If, however, it just becomes another numbers game with thousands of careless driving tickets issued then the impact will be limited.
“The IAM believes that driver retraining courses have a much bigger potential to actually improve poor driving than simply issuing a standard fine and should always be offered as the first stage of prosecution.”
Image courtesy of West Midlands Police, with thanks.