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A consultation has been launched by the government to look into its suggestion of increasing motor offence fines like speeding from £60 to £90.

Date: (15 June 2012)    |    

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The reason given by the Transport Minister Mike Penning was that the current fines were not creating an impression of seriousness to such offences.
He added that in future too careless driving could also be included under fixed penalty offence with an option of remedial training. Educational courses for other offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt, could also be offered.
The government believes that the current regime for dealing with careless driving, defined in law as driving that "falls below what is expected of a competent and careful driver" , was overly bureaucratic.
Ministers were seeking views from the public on the proposals, which would apply to England, Scotland and Wales, before it could be implemented.
The careless drivers are served with summons to appear before the courts but the police seem to be deterred from doing so as it involved heavy paper work..
So drivers caught tailgating, braking suddenly, or passing a vehicle on the nearside might face a fixed penalty notice in future, like many speeders today.
In practice, drivers facing penalty notices were often given the choice to take a course instead though they had to still pay the cost of the training.
The government believes careless drivers should also have this choice, and predicts that "approximately 3,000 offenders per year will attend remedial training".
The government estimates that the change would save the judiciary £5.53m, and the police £2.91m in administration costs and £9.5m in front-line costs, over the course of 10 years.
But it also foresees that revenue to the exchequer will fall by £4.41m over 10 years as fewer careless drivers face prosecution and the larger fines that can ensue, although it concedes there were "uncertainties" involved in the production of these figures.
Fixed penalty notices do not apply to the most serious driving offences, such as speeding at over 100mph or driving while drunk.
Similarly, drivers responsible for more serious examples of careless driving, such as those involving collisions, would not be given fixed penalty notices.
Fixing of fixed penalty notice lower than £90 would make the offence look like a trivial and inconsequential issue the consultation document has warned.
It also notes that the fines have not risen since 2000, and have therefore diminished in value in real terms. Hence fixed penalty notices for driving without insurance should be raised from £200 to £300 the document said.
Fixed penalty notices for driving without insurance should also be raised, from £200 to £300, the document adds, "to reflect the seriousness of the offence". The government does not think there is a need to change the level of parking fines.

 

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