Careless or aggressive road users face on-the-spot fines and penalty points

Tougher legislation to fine drivers who tailgate, hog the middle lane or display poor driving behaviour, comes into force today.

The plans, revealed in June, give police greater powers to penalise careless drivers immediately, rather than sending them to court. The idea is to save police time, which would otherwise be spent pursuing lengthy court cases, and to discourage drivers from careless driving.

Existing fixed penalties for not wearing a seatbelt, or using a mobile phone while driving, will rise from £60 to £100. The fixed penalty for driving without insurance is also rising from £200 to £300.

It's also thought that police will be able to utilise their new powers to issue fixed penalty notices to those not giving way at junctions, or to those using the wrong lane at a roundabout.

Previously, many instances of poor driving had gone unpunished due to the time required and complexity involved in prosecuting a motorist. They would have to be stopped, issued a summons and then have evidence presented against them in court. 

Launching the new policy, transport minister Stephen Hammond said "Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people's lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.

"We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences."

Several organisations expressed positive views on the developments in the run up to the launch, but there is also overall concern that the new regulations will have little real-world effect on road safety due to the requirement for a physical police presence on the road.

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Comments
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289

5 June 2013

...at last! I hope they repeatedly hammer the middle lane owners club and take them off the road...and the idiots who use the wrong lane on roundabouts and then drive straight across your bows too.

If they cant learn to drive correctly they dont deserve to have a licence.

There, I feel much better today for that!!

5 June 2013

Clearly there's times when someone is obviously aggresively tailgating, or sitting in the middle lane with no traffic ahead for miles.  I'd love to see these people targetted.

Simiarly for pulling out without giving way, or obviously wrong roundabout lane choices.

But then there's also the grey areas.  One minute you're driving along in lane 3 minding your own business, the next someone pulls out on you from the left (very slowly) and you slam on the anchors.  For a good few seconds, you may have to tailgate to avoid slowing too quickly and causing a shunt behind.  What then if the traffic cop didn't see the car pull out, only you trying not to kiss their back bumper?

Same for middle lane hogging.  Sometimes there's traffic sparsely spaced out in lane 1, but you know full well that if you move across, all the cars behind in lane 2 will pull slowly forward and trap you behind a HGV.  So it can make some sense to lane hog, some of the time.

All grey areas, and I'm sure there's many more.  Poor lane discipline on an island, or confused because of a poor layout you've not driven through before?  How do the traffic cops judge that?

5 June 2013

As with the mobile phone ban how is this going to be policed if there are few if any Traffic police on the Mways. Regularly do the London - Somerset M4/M5 drive & apart from the Wiltshire section never see  any marked or unmarked cars. More PR spin from the Torys that has no foundation!

5 June 2013

Policing it will be the issue..... my biggest concern though is that they seem to have missed out 'front fog light tossers' who probably deserve a harsher penalty anyway, so maybe that's coming.

5 June 2013

srbmckenzie@

If we fined everyone we saw doing our pet hates while driving, there'd be no cars on the road?, my sentiments are much like the other comments,how is it going to be Policed?

Peter Cavellini.

5 June 2013

Does this mean we've lost the war on speeding?

These plans scare me because the fines will be handed out will be based on the police officer's mood and view of the road, not as a standard test. Atleast with speed cameras it's the same for every driver, not just the one being followed.

The other things that worries me is it'll force those drivers who probably aren't as experience to panic and keep diving in and out of lanes. That sounds like accidents waiting to happen and how long can we tailgate because the driver in front has pulled out in front of you and there isn't enough space to drop back before it becomes an offense?

srbmckenzie wrote:

Policing it will be the issue..... my biggest concern though is that they seem to have missed out 'front fog light tossers' who probably deserve a harsher penalty anyway, so maybe that's coming.

Those fog light fines should be sent to Audi for bringing us the daytime running light strip.

5 June 2013

On that subject can anyone explain why running with front foglights on when not needed on is illegal yet DRL's that are much brighter are not?

I dont use them because I dont see the point, but I really dont see the issue with foglights if DRL's are fine.

On the subject of DRL's - even worse are the boy racers in Saxo's with dodgy Xenon conversions that run at a brightness approximatley 7 times brighter than that of the sun

14 August 2013

srbmckenzie wrote:

Policing it will be the issue..... my biggest concern though is that they seem to have missed out 'front fog light tossers' who probably deserve a harsher penalty anyway, so maybe that's coming.

Interesting. We know about that law yet there are a growing number of cars who's front foglight comes on with the indicator - somehow designed to 'light up' the road when you turn.

So it's OK to blind on coming traffic in that instance? It always was a stupid law. 

 

8 June 2013

I sort of remember my driving test to consist of driving around the test centre for 20mins,  a couple of manouvers and reading a number plate and some signs out of the highway code.  Nothing to prepare me for more complex driving situations.  The grey areas mentioned by oilburner are a real concern.  Although I have never deliberately set out to tailgate or go in the wrong lane for a roundabout exit,  there have been times when my attention has wandered.  Who hasnt lost attention at the wheel for a few seconds and found themselves a bit too close to the car infront? If I was unlucky and got caught on every occasion this has happened in the past couple of years, I would have lost my license (the autocar piece doesnt mention the 3 points in addition to the fines).  I think I might sign up for advanced driving lessons to up skill.

5 June 2013

Until motorway driving is part of the learning and testing process (that it continues not to be is an unfathomable situation in this day and age) there will always be those who have no idea how to correctly use them.

Many drivers simply don't use motorways very often and find them terrifying, alien places, so they lodge themselves in lane two, knuckles whitening by the mile.

As is usually the cae where road use is concerned, education is more effective than punishment. How can we punish for something that has never been effectively taught?

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