Fines for bad driving set to rise for first time in 11 years

Current fines "risk trivialising" speeding, driving while using a mobile & other offences

by Tony Farrelly   May 13, 2011  

driving using mobile phone

Speeding motorists and those caught driving while using a mobile phone face increased fines in proposals contained in the Government's new Strategic Frameworkd for Road Safety.

Ministers argue that the current level of fines, attached to motoring fixed penalty notices, set back in 2000, has fallen behind those attached to offences attached to other areas such as disorder – this the Strategic Framework says risks trivialising motoring offences. To bring motoring offences in to line the Government will increase the fixed penalty fine payable for speeding, failing to control a vehicle properly – which covers driving while using a mobile phone, failing to stop at a zebra crossing, and not wearing a seat belt from the current level of £60 to between £80 and £100.

On current levels of offending it has been calculated that the increase in speeding fines alone would raise an extra £35m in revenue - fines for other motoring offences are also likely to rise. However the Government has said it also has to bear in mind when setting fixed penalty levels, the likelihood that setting them too high will increase levels of non-payment – although there is an argument that it is exactly those who fail to pay such fines who should be the focus of the Government's new 'targeted approach' to enforcement and deterence when it comes to pursuing rogue drivers. As well as fines the Strategic Framework proposes increased use of educational programmes for erring drivers.

Some further details have also emerged regarding the new powers that will be giving to police regarding issuing fixed penalties for careless and inconsiderate driving. Initially the police will use video evidence shot from their in car cameras to back up such fines if it is deemed good enough to be used in court, but it is envisaged that evidence from road side cameras once they have been approved by the Home Office.

The emphasis on the quality of footage does open up the possibility that cyclists could submit headcam footage to the police to at least get them to issue fixed penalty notices in cases where they are the victims of inconsiderate driving. headcam evidence has already been deemed admissible in court and led to at least one successful prosecution. A scenario where camera toting cyclists not only helped boost government revenues but also helped buy all cyclist more space and respect on the road. However, given that the Strategic Framework barely mentions cycling, one reference we could find in 75 pages - cycling will first need to sort out its visibility problem with the Government.

11 user comments

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Until drivers are threatened with greater measures to punish them properly and restrict the usage of their vehicles as a result of their infringements they will always have contempt for the road.

Stop fining drivers and start a 'sin bin' mentality - 1 month off the road, restrictions on car engine size and so on.

The Casati Owner's Club says - "Drink your Coffee strong"

posted by simonaspinall [10 posts]
13th May 2011 - 9:33

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Quote:
However, given that the Strategic Framework barely mentions cycling, one reference we could find in 75 pages ...

Given that his is a cycling site I'm confident that others apart from myself would be interested in what that reference was. (Although not interested enough to read 75 pages myself to find it!)

posted by mad_scot_rider [538 posts]
13th May 2011 - 9:34

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most cyclists know the mobile phone while driving law is totally ignored by many, many motorists so why not have the cops on bikes in towns and cities in plain clothes equipped with headcams. The conviction rate would escalate as would the revenue accrued. Too simple?

antonio

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posted by antonio [937 posts]
13th May 2011 - 9:37

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And about time ..

It goes without saying that as cyclists we wish those found guilty of careless driving to be fined/punished accordingly ...

What really caught my eye though is the bit about Mobile Phone usage .... I have lost count of the amount of times I've almost been clattered by some idiot on their phone (I'm very alert whilst cycling so I've managed to avoid injury so far) ... but it's only a matter of time.

Without wishing to throw any sexism into the debate, is it just me or are women by far the worst offenders when it comes to the Moby whilst driving thing? Certainly appear to be from my experience ...

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [300 posts]
13th May 2011 - 12:57

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phax71 wrote:
And about time ..
Without wishing to throw any sexism into the debate, is it just me or are women by far the worst offenders when it comes to the Moby whilst driving thing? Certainly appear to be from my experience ...

I suspect my own stereotypical view, that men are more prepared to set up a hands free system - so, from the outside, you don't know they gossiping just as much.

posted by robike [24 posts]
13th May 2011 - 18:18

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I would have no hesitation in supplying video footage to the police from a headcam.

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [278 posts]
13th May 2011 - 22:09

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What bugs me about mobile phone use while driving is the significant number of so-called professional drivers, including bus drivers (!) who think nothing of it. Penalties should increase for such drivers, and the charge be appropriate rather than a 'soft' fixed penalty notice.

posted by DAG on a bike [47 posts]
13th May 2011 - 22:12

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Quote:

However the Government has said it also has to bear in mind when setting fixed penalty levels, the likelihood that setting them too high will increase levels of non-payment.

Huh? How does that make any sense at all? It's a fine, not service charge!

In the greater scheme of things I think fines need to be relative to income or wealth to be any kind of (fair) deterrent.

- Tommi

posted by tko [5 posts]
14th May 2011 - 0:56

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They could stand outside my workplace (on a typical urban A road) for a day and catch enough mobile-using drivers to pay their wages for the day...

Hell, I'll hold the camera myself if they like.

posted by don_don [149 posts]
14th May 2011 - 13:33

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@mad_scot_rider I was wrong, I can find two mentions of cycling the one I was referring to is in the section on changing the way key indicators for casualties by road user type are reported in the DfT national stats - so as well as giving the total numbers of each road user type killed it will also show the number per billion vehicles miles.

It's in Annexe B on p72.

B.3 We have identified 6 key indicators which relate to road deaths and will
measure the key outcomes of the strategy at national level. These are:
 Number of road deaths (and rate per billion vehicle miles)
 Rate of motorcyclist deaths per billion vehicle miles
 Rate of car occupant deaths per billion vehicle miles
 Rate of pedal cyclist deaths per billion vehicle miles
 Rate of pedestrian deaths per billion miles walked
 Number of deaths resulting from collisions involving drivers under
25

Interestingly earlier in the document where casualty stats are presented, although cars, pedestrians, and motorcycles are included, cyclists are not.

Cycling also gets a mention earlier in the document on P37 in the section about what role central govt can play in promoting cycling:

3.27 Road safety is only one contributor to the health of the nation and needs to be considered in a wider perspective. There can be health benefits for those who choose to make cycling and walking journeys, as well as benefits for society - the annual costs to the NHS as a result of inactivity is estimated at between £1bn and £1.8bn24. Work to improve safety and conditions for pedestrians and cyclists (including children) can therefore be considered in projects supported by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. There are many synergies between safer, healthier and more sustainable travel. However we recognise that this is not practicable for everyone. Car travel contributes to economic growth by helping people to access employment and helps facilitate continued independent living amongst our ageing population, particularly for those living in areas with limited public transport, and this will be a vital context for future measures related to older drivers.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
14th May 2011 - 14:11

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I can see the Daily Wail headline now: War on Motorists Starts Again

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
16th May 2011 - 12:54

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