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New on the spot fines for careless drivers come into force

New on the spot fines for careless drivers come into force

Offenders will also get three points on their licence for careless driving as part of a clamp-down which will also see fines for existing offences, such as using a hand-held mobile increased to £100.


Similar punishments will be faced by drivers who perform handbrake turns as part of an attempt to tackle anti-social and aggressive behaviour on the roads.


The move to fine motorists for cruising in the middle lane could prove the most controversial, with an AA poll showing nearly a third of drivers do so even though, according to the Highway Code, it should only be used for overtaking. The new powers, which will allow police to issue fixed penalties on the spot, are designed to make it easier to deal with anti-social drivers.


Until now it has been necessary for the police to stop a motorist, issue a summons and then take the case to court, a process which was considered time consuming and a waste of resources. It meant that minor driving offences went unpunished because of the bureaucracy involved. The new penalties reflect a shift in strategy.


It moved to end what it said was the previous Government’s “war on the motorist” by stopping funding for speed cameras.This means some cameras will no longer be in operation. The question is which will work and which won't, that said, you should always keep to the speed limit.


  The current coalition Govt decided to target what it believed were poor, negligent and aggressive drivers who, despite posing a threat to road safety, went unpunished.


“This deals with many of the irritations which have bugged thousands of motorists for years on end,” said an AA spokesman. “Polls we have carried of our members shows overwhelming support for this move. Fining middle lane huggers is a reflection of what the Highway Code says about how to drive on major road.”


Kevin Delaney, Scotland Yard’s former head of roads policing gave a cautious welcome to the proposals. “It is a much quicker and simpler way of dealing with the problem,” he said.


“It has always been used in the past for where there was no shade of grey, like jumping red lights. Careless driving has 50 shades of grey and it will end up being the motorist’s word against the copper. But it will help those motorists who realise they have done something wrong and would rather not be dragged through the courts.”


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