Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

'Bad drivers' to face £100 fines

Police will be able to hand out on-the-spot fines for careless driving under a new strategy
Lewis Hamilton (left) and Jenson Button (right) join David Cameron to launch the Decade for Road Safety campaign

Bad drivers will be hit with fixed-penalty fines of up to £100 under a Government scheme which aims to cut road deaths by as much as 57% within 20 years.

Motorists who tailgate, undertake or cut up other drivers could be handed the fine rather than being taken to court.

Current fixed fines of £60 for offences such as driving while using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt could go up to between £80 and £100.

Disqualified drivers will be forced to retrain - and possibly have to take another test - before they regain their licence.

And courts will be encouraged to make more use of their powers to seize vehicles for the most serious offences.

A wider range of retraining and education courses will be on offer for lower-level offences.

And novice drivers will be able to take additional qualifications to reassure insurers that they are safe behind the wheel, in a bid to reverse the steep upward trend in premiums for less experienced motorists.

Launching the strategy, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said he wanted to move road safety enforcement away from the "narrow focus on camera-enforced speed policing to address the wider range of behaviours that create risk on the roads".

Motoring groups generally welcomed the proposals but shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said Government policies were risking "more deaths and injuries on Britain's roads".

Comparing future casualty figures to the average figure for 2005 to 2009, the Government said its proposals could mean the annual death toll coming down, by 2020, by between 37% and 46%.

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