Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Should speeding drivers be given harsher fines?

MOTORISTS who end up on the wrong side of the law could be made to pay more for their misdeeds under new proposals being considered by the Goverment.

Ministry of Justice plans currently under consultation are suggesting upping the current penalties paid by drivers for offences such as speeding from £60 to £90.

The report which suggests raising the charges, entitled Getting It Right For Victims and Witnesses, reads: “As part of its new Strategic Framework for Road Safety,21 which aims to reduce death and injuries on our roads, the Department for Transport proposes to increase the level of some Fixed Penalty Notices for traffic offences to bring them in line with other penalties which deal with low-level offending.

"Penalty levels for many offences have not increased during the last ten years. The current levels have fallen behind other fixed penalties and therefore risk trivialising the offences. The proposed increases for motoring offences include those in relation to excessive speed, control of a vehicle, mobile phone use, ignoring signals and pedestrian crossings, and failure to wear a seatbelt."

However motoring groups have hit out at the plans, with the Institute of Advanced Motorists saying its own research highlighted that more than half of all drivers disagreed with the idea.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "While funding victims of crime is laudable, the real aim of fines for motoring offences should be deterrence. We want to stop people breaking the law.

“Having an income that relies on dangerous driving won’t help reduce crashes. There is a strong case for this money to be spent on road safety.”

The consultation on the proposals, which can be seen in full on the Ministry of Justice website, closes on April 22.

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