DfT consults on fixed penalty for careless driving

12.00 | 15 June 2012 | | 5 comments

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.


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    It’s a ‘here we go again’, thing. Great idea from behind a desk (presumably in Whitehall) and Graham Feest’s points seem entirely valid. I go back to my previous point. In essence that the legislation is already there viz: via para.4 of the Intro in HC and then para.126 of the HC itself. Prosecute when anyone goes into the back of another and the message about taking responsibility for your own safety goes out big time. In parallel the crash level goes down. If 30% of crashes are rear-end shunts then, in principle the crash rate can instantly be reduced by some 30%. In my book there is never an excuse for going into the back of another vehicle. It’s principally lack of space and lack of attention.

    Nigel Albright, TAUNTON
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The AIRSO Road Safety Advisory Panel will debate this document at its meeting on 25th June 2012. There are already concerns about the manner in which this will be implemented and what criteria the judgement will be made as to whether or not a driver is to be issued with a fixed penalty. Previous to the consultation the AIRSO view has been that we have not been in favour of fixed penalties for careless driving unless we can be reassured that the person(s) issuing them have some degree of credibility in the subject matter. Our guess is that there will be a lot of people who will challenge these through the courts and rather than reduce court time it will become clogged up. It could of course give rise to an increase in the no win no fee culture.

    Graham Feest
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Could be careless and or inconsiderate driving or riding. Unfortunately there will be insufficient police officers on the roads to do anything about it soon. Lancashire is to lose another lot, about 450 because they cannot afford the wages. Don’t see any civilains going tho.

    Bob craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Were we not given the impression that the new government was going to “end the war on the motorist”? Can “privatization of the Police force” be seen between the lines of these proposals?

    Dave Finney – Slough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    OH YES, there is a great need of observing road safety measures and the rules on the road.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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