Monday, 16 March 2015

End of the middle lane hogs?

Fed up of getting stuck behind a tractor on a long and winding country lane? been soaked by a motorist driving through a puddle? you may finally have a reason to celebrate.

New figures show the police have handed out around 10,000 on-the-spot fines in one year under new laws which allow them to give £100 tickets to inconsiderate or careless drivers.

The crackdown on anti-social driving has seen people performing the following actions given fines and given three penalty points on their licence.
  • Tailgating
  • Middle lane hogging
  • Undertaking 
  • Wheel spins
  • Handbrake turns
  • Driving down roads closed for repairs
  • Soaking pedestrians with puddles 
  • Tractor drivers not pulling over & letting traffic by
  • Dirty windscreens
  • Driving with a obstacles blocking view on passenger seat. 
The figures show 9,852 penalty notices were handed out for the careless driving crimes in the 12-months after the new powers came into force in August 2013, The Sunday Telegraph reported. 

Before then, the offence could only be dealt with in court and many drivers escaped punishment because of the bureaucracy involved.

Yet the figures show that some forces are using the new powers more than others. 
Gwent Police handed out 608 of the tickets - compared to Essex where not one motorist was fined on-the-spot for careless driving. 

The most tickets - 1,397 - were given out by the Metropolitan Police.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said he was happy to see the powers being used but hoped they would be used consistently across the country.

He said: 'As with using mobiles at the wheel and drink-driving, it is not enough to outlaw anti-social behaviour on the roads. People need to believe they will get caught. These figures suggest in several areas they won’t.' 

But road safety minister Robert Goodwill welcomed the figures, adding: 'Careless driving can risk lives, and I am glad to see police tackling these offences at the roadside.

'This is exactly why this government brought in a fixed penalty notice so officers can deal with offenders on the spot rather than having to prosecute offenders through the courts.'

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