Traffic courts will hear cases on motoring offences to help ease the burden on magistrates

Special traffic courts are to be set up to deal with problem drivers, freeing up courts to deal with more serious crimes.

The government announced the changes after revealing that around half a million motoring cases are heard in the magistrates' courts each year. These cases can often take longer to progress than more major offences, says the Ministry of Justice.

The average time taken to complete a driving offence case is almost six months — despite over 90 per cent of cases resulting in a guilty plea or being proved in absence.

Nine police forces in the UK have already trialled the new traffic courts including forces in Essex, Lincolnshire and London's Metropolitan Police.

Justice minister Damian Green said the justice system must respond more quickly to victims, witnesses and local communities. "These dedicated courts will enable magistrates to better organise their work and drive greater efficiency," he said.

The government is currently in consultation to decide how best to implement the courts. At present the 'express' traffic courts will only come into operation when there is a guilty plea or where the case is not contested.

Join the debate

Comments
3

17 May 2013

But who's there to catch them in the first place?

 

18 May 2013

If your going to have a special court for this, whatr about other everyday offences, like assault,shop lifting etc, these take up time also,fragmented law?

Peter Cavellini.

18 May 2013

To me that step risks differentiating traffic crime from other forms of crime. I imagine the ultimate aim is to fast track offenders to minimise the risk to other road users. You can, of course, still drive until you've been convicted. So, probably a risk worth taking.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?