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New police powers to tighten up on 'low level' careless driving

DfT consultation open on fines and remedial eduction for drivers

The Department for Transport is consulting over new, increased powers to fine drivers for a wider range of traffic offences, including 'low level' careless driving of the kind many cyclists complain about.

'Inappropriate speed', 'lane discipline' and 'driving too close to a vehicle in front' are cited as some of the driver behaviour that could incur a fine or a remedial education course at the driver's expense.

The consultation, which is open for comment until September 5th, wants to make it easier and less bureaucratic for the police to follow up cases fo careless driving that would be costly and difficult to pursue via the courts.

It also discusses educating drivers as to how their behaviour is dangerous.

According to the report, "a survey of drivers convicted of careless driving showed that 57% claimed they were driving how they often or normally drove at the time of the incident, and 75% said they were surprised to be convicted."

Some examples of the types of behaviour that could be expected to incur a fine or remedial education were stated as:

 Driving too close to a vehicle in front

 Wrong lane on a roundabout

 Ignoring a lane closed sign and pushing into an orderly

 Lane discipline such as remaining in lane two or three when lane one is empty and there is no other vehicle to overtake

 Inappropriate speed

 Wheel spins

The report stated that: "It is not intended that fixed penalties or remedial training are used for the more serious examples of careless driving. We would expect these cases to continue to be dealt with by the courts.

"It is envisaged that FPNs and remedial training would only be offered in situations witnessed by a police officer where there are no victims, no collisions and no public complaint."

Remedial training operates at no cost to the public purse, as the offender is required to pay for the course.

The report goes on to suggest that the value of fixed penalty notices could go up, as prices have remained the same since 2000.

Non-endorsable offences, which do not result in penalty points on a licence are usually set at £30; and endorsable offences which usually result in penalty points on the licence are usually set at £60. For the most serious FPN offences, such as driving without insurance, the financial penalty is up to £200.

Individuals and organisations are being invited to respond to the consultation using the email address motoringfpnsconsultation [at]


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Tripod16 | 11 years ago

Just more things the police will not be following up on to grate on my nerves.

How many cyclists see drivers go by them on their mobile phones everyday?

The police can't follow up on the laws/offences already on the books.

In this country, if a camera doesn't catch you and fine you, then you will get off Scott-free.

I'm not getting my hopes up!  37

joemmo | 11 years ago

ah this will be the "NEW RAFT OF FINES TO HIT MOTORISTS" headlines that one of the scumsheets was trumpeting then.

bikeandy61 | 11 years ago

You can make all the laws/tighten up existing laws all you want (and not just these but all that successive Governements have done/do, crime terrorism etc) but where are the Police officers on the actual streets to catch the culprits?

Bob's Bikes | 11 years ago

Cynic and glass half empty type that I am, I am seriously worried that this will become an opt out clause for police forces, the CPS & magistrates. In that the woefully inadequate sentences handed out for careless driving in the few cases that are persued through the courts will now just be palmed off on this and the police can then claim an increase in road safety whilst not actually improving the situation regarding getting bad drivers off our roads.

Bez | 11 years ago

Pushing into a queue? You're *supposed* to use both lanes for a queue and then merge at the end, despite what a lot of people seem to think. Wheel spins? On a cold and wet winter's day it's nigh-on impossible to get my car out of the uphill T-junction near me without one. Lane discipline? Pretty irritating, but that's about it.

How are these real safety issues? Much of this sounds like pandering to whingers, to be honest (though if that's a vehicle for getting useful legislation through then so be it).

What's needed is not a broader and equally feeble brush, but a genuine and effective deterrent for real carelessness and inattention. Not just fines or training (though training is good) but points and short-term bans.

Moar of opinions on this:

OldRidgeback | 11 years ago

And how is this going to be enforced?

JohnS | 11 years ago

Hmmm... How about drivers invading ASLs and jumping red lights, which always go unnoticed?

Chuck | 11 years ago

I reckon it would be a start on reminding people of their responsibilities when they're behind the wheel, and maybe be a bit more aware of what they're doing generally.

No doubt it'll be seen as another front in the "war on motorists" though.

A V Lowe | 11 years ago

Is there significance in using Glasgow for the picture .... I wonder

mad_scot_rider replied to A V Lowe | 11 years ago
A V Lowe wrote:

Is there significance in using Glasgow for the picture .... I wonder

Yes. Yes, there is.

stewieatb | 11 years ago

Should that be remedial educAtion up on the strapline Dave? Because I'm not sure you meant this:

horizontal dropout | 11 years ago

Good that the government is taking "low level" offences (which includes near misses that could have caused injury or death) more seriously.

I would like to see penalty points given even when remedial training is chosen. It maintains some level of deterrent, otherwise training could be seen as the soft option.

The announcement and related docs are here:

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