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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 07:51 
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Tough new penalties come into force for driving offences

Dan Milmo, transport correspondent
Monday September 24, 2007

Drivers who fail to identify who was behind the wheel when a speeding offence is committed face a heavier penalty under law changes that come into force today. The clampdown on driving offences includes higher maximum fines for careless driving and refusing to stop when flagged down by police. One of the most significant changes will affect anyone who fails to provide information on the identity of a driver, which now carries the penalty of six rather than three penalty points.

The new punishment is targeted at motorists who attempt to evade penalties for offences detected by speed cameras, by claiming they did not know who was driving at the time. In 2004, 2,319 people were found guilty of of failing to disclose a driver's identity and received three penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000.

The justice minister, Maria Eagle, said: "The measures introduced today will make important changes to a number of road traffic offences so that they operate more effectively. We listened with great care to road safety groups and the families of victims, and their experiences have directly informed these changes.

"Quite simply, these measures will make our roads safer."

The government introduced the law changes after consulting judges, police and road safety campaigners, amid growing public concern about the devastating impact on victims of bad driving.

Anti-speed camera campaigners said doubling the points penalty for failing to identify a driver would not improve road safety. "It is going to have a negative road safety impact. It is a document offence and it does not relate to driving standards. It has nothing to do with how safe you are as a driver," said Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed campaign.

He said the government should focus on legal measures that reduce road deaths, otherwise the UK will continue to fall behind its European peers in improving safety: France reduced road deaths by a third between 2001 and 2005, compared with a 7% drop in the UK.

Other measures introduced under the Road Safety Act 2006 today include a doubling of the maximum fine for careless driving to £5,000, with all seat belt-wearing offences subject to a maximum £500 fine.

Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 08:21 
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... a doubling of the maximum fine for careless driving to £5,000,

You could make this £1M but it won't make any difference. "Careless" implies "unintentional" and therefore a big fine can have no deterrent effect on the perpetrator as they didn't think "Oh, there's a big fine for this - better not do it."

It's just posturing to show how "tough" they are.

Malcolm W.
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.

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