Nnew fixed penalty notice for ‘careless driving’, and higher fines for many other offences like speeding and mobile phone use, have now come into force (Friday 16 August 2013).
Police can stop drivers and issue a ticket on the spot for risky driving such as tailgating or poor lane discipline. Drivers who commit the most serious ‘careless driving’ offences will still face charges in court and much higher penalties.
Fines for most fixed penalty notices for traffic offences such as speeding, mobile phone use and not wearing a seat belt rise from £60 to £100, while the fine for driving uninsured rises from £200 to £300.
Most motoring fixed penalties increase under the changes:
a non-endorsable offence (where the driver does not receive points on their licence) £30 fixed penalty notice has risen to £50
- an endorsable (where points are given) £60 and non-endorsable fixed penalty notice has risen to £100
- an endorsable £120 fixed penalty notice has risen to £200
- The fixed penalty notice for driving with no insurance has risen from £200 to £300
Graduated fixed penalties (mainly for commercial goods and passenger carrying vehicles and including offences like drivers’ hours and overloading) and financial deposits (for drivers without a satisfactory UK address) have also increased:
- a £30 non-endorsable fine has risen to £50
- a £60 endorsable and non-endorsable fine has risen to £100
- a £120 endorsable and non-endorsable fine has risen to £200
- a £200 endorsable and non-endorsable fine has risen to £300
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties
Brake is an independent road safety charity and has welcomed the changes. Brake has said that the new fixed penalty notice for careless driving and increase in fines, which will help to send the message that risky driving and breaking traffic laws won’t be tolerated.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said:
Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a daily basis, but sadly some drivers remain complacent about the risks and the law.
Bad driving causes deaths and life-changing injuries that tear families apart and affect whole communities.
All drivers have a responsibility to ensure they aren’t putting others at risk, and are helping to prevent these needless casualties.
They can do this by following simple principles, such as slowing down, giving the road their full attention, always belting up, and never driving impaired.
We hope today’s changes will help to improve driver attitudes and behaviour.
But we are concerned penalties still aren’t nearly high enough to deter all bad drivers and reflect the potentially appalling consequences of bad driving.
Fines for most traffic fixed penalty notices have not increased since 2000, making them much lower than penalties for many other serious offences.
Police are able to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement for careless driving, as is already the case for other types of traffic offences, such as speeding.
Traffic Inspector Paul Cording is based at Harrogate Police Station and commented on the changes.
Traffic Inspector Paul Cording said:
North Yorkshire Police are committed to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads through enforcement and education.
We are not talking about new offences here, just an increase in some of the fines of fixed penalty notices and the option of an ticket for careless driving.
What we are trying to achieve here is to improve driver behaviour and as such we will target offenders that think they are above the law.
In line with the national picture we will be concentrating on what is known as the “Fatal 4” i.e. statistically the 4 most contributory factors in serious and fatal collisions: Drink driving, excess speed, using a mobile phone whilst driving and not wearing a seatbelt.
You can follow Inspector Cording on twitter @OscarRomeo1268 or the main RPG twitter page @NYorksRPG