On-the-spot penalties are being introduced for careless driving (such as tailgating or middle lane hogging) and existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences (e.g. using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt) will rise to £100.
This is a move I wholly support as such poor driving is one of the primary causes of motorway accidents in my opinion, and is something we discuss in depth on the Ultimate Car Control (UCC) EPD course. This opinion is supported by AA President Edmund who commented that: “We are also pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers – tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle lane hogs.”
The changes, announced 5 June 2013 by the Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond who 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.”
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport ACPO lead on roads policing said: “The new penalties are absolutely necessary to deal with drivers who are putting people’s lives at risk and police will not hesitate to enforce them. These measures should also act as a reminder to careless drivers that their behaviour will not be tolerated.”
The fixed penalty for careless driving will be £100 with 3 points on the driver’s licence, though it’s important to state that the most serious examples will continue to go through court, where higher penalties will be handed out.
From a business perspective, Fleet managers especially should keep an eye on their drivers and consider further training if they are found wanting.
The government aim to bring the new changes into force in July this year.