The police have recently announced that tailgaters and middle lane drivers on motorways could face on-the-spot penalties under new measures introduced by the UK Government.
As of July the police will have the power to issue £100 fines as well as 3 points for careless driving offences. Currently drivers who are caught have to go through lengthy court procedures. It is believed that by introducing these on-the-spot penalties it will allow police to target offenders quickly by cutting out this lengthy process.
In addition to these penalties fines have also increased for not wearing a seatbelt or using a phone whilst driving. Fines are set to rise from £40 - £100.
The measures are likely to prove a good move by the Government as many motoring offences currently go unpunished due to the bureaucracy involved in bringing current cases to court.
This could be good news for young drivers who have recently passed their driving test as it means that they are less likely to get irresponsible motorists hassling and tailgating them whilst on the move. This move could also result in a reduction in road accidents.
Stephen Hammond, the road safety minister, commented:
"Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people's lives at risk."
Mr Hammond went on to say:
"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."
Both the AA and the RAC Foundation have supported the action to make UK roads safer.
Professor Stephen Glaister of the RAC Foundation believes that anti-social behaviour on the roads is as much of a problem as it is in wider society, adding:
"Giving police more discretion to act, and freeing up resources to allow them to do so by cutting procedural delays in court, is good news."
In spite of this, whilst he supports the move, motoring expert Quentin Wilson raised concerns that the UK may not have enough traffic police to enforce the law – especially since the number of traffic police on the roads have been cut by 50% since 1997.
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