The DfT has announced proposals to make fixed penalty notices available for careless driving, in a move to give police greater flexibility in dealing with less serious driving offences.
The proposed fixed penalty for careless driving will be £90 with three points on the driver’s licence. The most serious example will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties. The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement.
Other proposals announced for consultation include plans to increase the fines – from £60 to £90 – for many motoring fixed penalty offences including speeding, not wearing a seat belt and using a mobile phone while driving.
Mike Penning, road safety minister. said: “Careless driving is a major public concern and a cause of deaths and injuries on our roads.
“These changes support both police enforcement and, for some cases, the associated offer of educational training for motorists unaware of the full, potential consequences of driving carelessly.
“We also need to make sure that the penalties for a wide range of fixed penalty motoring offences are set at reasonable levels, consistent with the potentially severe consequences of some infringements.”
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy, said: “We are unconvinced that making careless driving a fixed penalty notice offence will improve road safety. Careless driving covers a range of offences, varying from parking to highly irresponsible behaviour which deserves a court summons. The IAM strongly support driver re-education courses and these could still be handed out through courts.
“An increase in speeding and other penalty fines is needed to keep up with inflation. Yet the Ministry of Justice only recently suggested a victim surcharge be added to them. This would make any increase much larger. The real aim of fines for motoring offences should be deterrence rather than generating income.”
The consultation closes on 5 September 2012 – click here to access the consultation document.