Drivers are being advised to clean up their act as after a new fixed penalty notice for careless driving came into force today (Friday).
Police can stop drivers and issue a ticket on the spot for risky driving such as tailgating or poor lane discipline. Drivers who commit the most serious ‘careless driving’ offences will still face charges in court and much higher penalties.
Fines for most fixed penalty notices for traffic offences such as speeding, mobile phone use and not wearing a seat belt have risen from £60 to £100, while the fine for driving uninsured rises from £200 to £300.
Brake, the road safety charity, welcomed the new fixed penalty notice for careless driving and the increase in fines, which will help to send the message that risky driving and breaking traffic laws won’t be tolerated.
However, the charity continues to urge the government to increase fines further, to between £500 and £1,000, to reflect the potentially deadly consequences of bad driving and encourage drivers to take their responsibility on roads seriously.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, said: “Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a daily basis, but sadly some drivers remain complacent about the risks and the law.
“Bad driving causes deaths and life-changing injuries that tear families apart and affect whole communities. All drivers have a responsibility to ensure they aren’t putting others at risk, and are helping to prevent these needless casualties.
“They can do this by following simple principles, such as slowing down, giving the road their full attention, always belting up, and never driving impaired.
“We hope that Friday’s changes will help to improve driver attitudes and behaviour.”
Fines for most traffic fixed penalty notices have not increased since 2000, making them much lower than penalties for many other serious offences.