It seems like the day of careless drivers in the UK is over. Alright, maybe it is not over, but huge fines will be handed to motorists who continue to drive carelessly. This news comes to light after it was revealed that police in the UK will now receive new powers to issue fixed fines for careless driving offenses. This new power comes into effect starting July 1 and could see some drivers fined between £60 and £100 for driving carelessly.
So this does bring up a good question: What kind of things can officers now pull people over for and call “careless driving?” According to the police, this will include people who are tailgating, using their mobile phones or just hogging the roadway. Each offense will have a different fine, but for something like tailgating, drivers will be fined £100. Police hope that this will get people to back off the driver in front of them. Other offenses that will fall into the £100 range include driving while talking on a mobile device and hogging the middle lane of traffic.
Of course, fining people money is not the only thing that drivers have to worry about. Police also now have the power to make these offenders take a driving course or to issue points to the offenders’ driver’s licenses. For the most part, this change just makes it easier and quicker for police to issue these fines. Some of these offenses are things that people get pulled over for every day in the UK. However, until now, the police really did not have a category to put these offenses in, and this made it difficult for them to fill out reports.
This new system is also supposed to help keep people out of the courts for smaller driving offenses. Of course, people who commit more serious crimes on the roadways will still find themselves in the court rooms. In fact, if all goes according to plan, other cases will get put in front of a judge quicker because they are not having to deal with smaller offenses, as these smaller crimes are now labelled with a set fine.
Stephen Hammond, who is the road safety minister for the UK, said that careless driving is something that people should not have to deal with. It is a menace to the roadway, and it puts innocent people at risk. This new policy now makes it a lot easier for police to tackle this ever-growing problem. This is because police can now just go ahead and issue a fixed fine for these offenses instead of sending them to the courts. In short, it puts the power back in the hands of the police.
He added that they are also increasing the penalty that people pay for a wide range of driving offenses. The goal here is to make these offenses better reflect the seriousness of the crime. It is also going to be used as a deterrent for people. Hopefully these higher prices will make people think twice before committing these crimes.