On the spot fines planned for careless driving

On-the-spot fines planned for careless driving

Traffic seen in a vehicle wing mirror
Currently motorists who drive carelessly have to be prosecuted
through the courts.
Axis Driving School welcome the news as this is one the main
topics discussed with fellows driving students relating to safe driving.

Police will get powers to fine careless drivers on the spot, rather than taking them to court, as part of a government strategy to make Britain's roads safer.

Ministers say motorists who tail-gate, undertake or cut others up often go unpunished and that introducing instant penalties would be more efficient.

Offenders would get a fine of at least £80 and three points on their licence.

Critics say the approach - likely to be introduced in 2012 in England, Scotland and Wales - is too simplistic.

Drug crackdown

Currently motorists who have driven in a careless manner have to be prosecuted through the courts.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond will give a written statement to MPs on Wednesday explaining the new strategy for England, Scotland and Wales.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it would also include a crackdown on drug-driving and the closing of loopholes that allow people to escape drink-driving charges.

Disqualified drivers would have to undergo retraining, and possibly take another test, before they got their licence back.

Courts would be encouraged to make more use of their powers to seize vehicles for the most serious offences.

Ministers insist the new approach will try to target genuinely reckless motorists rather than those who normally follow the rules but make an inadvertent mistake.

There will be support for new drivers who need to hone their driving skills, and wider range of retraining and education courses for cases of less-serious offences.

'Greatest danger'

A DfT spokesman said: "The strategy will focus on cracking down on the really reckless drivers through more efficient enforcement.

"By giving the police the tools to deal with those who present the greatest danger to others we can make our roads even safer.

"While seeking to do everything possible to tackle the most dangerous drivers, the strategy will also help the responsible majority to improve their driving.

"This is the government's twin approach to improving road safety."

But the Institute of Advanced Motorists said on-the-spot fines were not necessarily the right approach for careless driving because, unlike speeding, cases were often not clear-cut.

It also said their introduction could make police reluctant to enter into lengthy prosecutions even in more serious cases.


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