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New penalties to tackle careless driving

15 June 2012

RoadSafe welcomes new proposals to tackle careless driving announced for consultation by the Road Safety Minister .

The proposals would make fixed penalty notices available for careless driving, giving the police greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences and freeing them from resource intensive enforcement processes. The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers would still be able to appeal any decision in court.
 
The proposed fixed penalty for careless driving will be £90 with three points on the driver’s licence. The most serious example will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties.

Other proposals announced for consultation today also include plans to increase the payment levels for many motoring fixed penalty offences, such as speeding, not wearing a seat belt and using a mobile phone whilst driving. The proposals would see penalties for these offences increase from £60 to £90. Similar increases to other fixed penalties are also being considered for non-endorsable offences (such as vehicle defects) insurance offences and graduated fixed penalties (such as driver hour regulations).
 

In May 2011 the Government published its Strategic Framework for Road Safety, which sets out a package of policies that would continue to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads. The road safety framework recognises the importance of targeted enforcement to tackle those behaviours that represent a risk to road safety. The measures announced in the road safety framework focus on making the enforcement process more efficient, ensuring that penalties are set at the right levels, and making educational training more widely available for low level offending.
 
This consultation seeks views on proposals announced in the road safety framework that support these objectives, namely making careless driving a fixed penalty notice offence and increasing the penalty levels for some motoring FPN offences. Both measures are linked in that the penalty level for the proposed careless driving offence will be set at the level being proposed for motoring fixed penalty offences, but are dealt with separately in the consultation document.
 

Other proposals announced for consultation today also include plans to increase the payment levels for many motoring fixed penalty offences, such as speeding, not wearing a seat belt and using a mobile phone whilst driving. The proposals would see penalties for these offences increase from £60 to £90. Similar increases to other fixed penalties are also being considered for non-endorsable offences (such as vehicle defects) insurance offences and graduated fixed penalties (such as driver hour regulations).
 
Fixed penalty levels for most of these motoring offences have not increased since the year 2000, and are now lower than other penalties of a similar severity.
 
The consultation will close on 5 September 2012
 

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