Motorists will become victims of summary justice if the government fails to build in safeguards when on-the-spot fines for careless and inconsiderate driving are introduced, the AA has warned.
Government wants to make it easier for the Police to prosecute offences like lane-hogging and under-taking, but has yet to say how it will enforce the law.
‘We want fines to depend on the offence being seen by a Police officer. They can’t just be slapped on a driver because a Police officer has turned up at an incident and the other driver is shouting more loudly,’ says the AA’s head of road safety Andrew Howard.
Another fear is that roadside cameras will be used to launch thousands of prosecutions, with drivers only finding out when a fine appears in the post.
‘It’s no good drivers suddenly being asked to justify what happened on a roundabout somewhere, weeks after the event,’ says the AA.
One solution would be for drivers only to be prosecuted when caught on-camera by a patrol car, stopped and shown the evidence before being given the option of taking three points and a fixed-penalty on-the-spot.
‘The government wants to save the time and cost of amassing the evidence and arranging a court hearing with all the trouble of getting witnesses together in court at the same time,’ says the AA.
The consultation ends on September 5th.