Fleet News

Lane hoggers face £100 fine

Careless drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures announced today by road safety minister Stephen Hammond.

The changes, which were revealed last month by Fleet News, will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences - such as tailgating or middle lane hogging - and freeing them from resource-intensive court processes.

The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.

In addition, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences - including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt - will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.

Hammond said: "Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people's lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.

"We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences."

The fixed penalty for careless driving will be £100 with three points on the driver's licence. The most serious examples will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties.

There are no changes to penalty levels for parking offences.

Fixed penalty levels for most of these motoring offences have not increased since 2000, and are now lower than other penalties of a similar severity.

In addition, raising the penalty levels for these offences offers an additional incentive for drivers to take up remedial courses which address poor driving behaviour in the longer term.

The changes - which the Government aim to bring into force in July this year - are being introduced following extensive public consultation with road safety groups and Police forces.

 


Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment

Comments

  • Bianca Castafiore - 05/06/2013 12:25

    Great news about fining lane hoggers. I hope this also includes lorry drivers who take 5 miles to overtake a similar lorry travelling at 1mph slower!

  • Tim Williams - 05/06/2013 12:57

    It's about time that poor lane discipline and tailgating are targeted. It would also be good to see this change targeting car drivers who travel too slowly on dual carriageways. However for this to work it will need actual traffic cops on the roads and they seem quite scarce since the advent of the cheaper camera van.

  • Mike - 05/06/2013 13:40

    This morning I drove for several miles on a well maintained dual carriageway ( Armco barriers) The outside lane was a solid nose to tail queue of slowing traffic. The cause? A slowly moving Police patrol car travelling at 55mph in the inside lane. Every driver slowed, being unwilling to risk overtaking at over 60mph, "just in case". Under the new rules the entire process could have been filmed and Penalty Tickets issued to every driver as the arrived at the blockage?

  • Rob - 05/06/2013 20:45

    Great in some ways, to be honest I would make the fines higher still as many of the offenders can afford £100 too easily judging by the cars they drive. But 3 points is far too harsh as its an offence too difficult to quantify, the driver could feel they are still overtaking a vehicle some way ahead but the Police may judge this to be not happening quick enough, and imagine everyone manically darting in and out the slow lane at every gap in the lorries to avoid the risk of 3 points and losing your job. Its going to turn some stretches into crazy dangerous zig zaging wacky races. Another badly thought through government policy. Its becoming habitual for them.

  • Andy Parsons - 07/06/2013 08:37

    Typical political 'spin'. There are so few traffic police on our roads that the chance of being prosecuted is negligible.

  • Andy T - 07/06/2013 09:01

    Apparently, the Labour Party want an amendment already. They only want it to count as an offence if the handbrake is on at the time...............

  • Mike D - 19/06/2013 14:47

    It’s interesting that training will be available as an alternative to endorsement. As I understand it, a significant chunk of training income for speeding currently ends up in the pocket of the police authority. Would it be fair to conclude that this might motivate the police to actually do something about the idiots who habitually tailgate? I wonder how the course will be tailored to suit the offence. How about swinging hammers behind the heads of the attendees with one in ten being clattered to make them understand that feeling that they subject others to?

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee