Motoring news: new penalties to curb careless driving

New penalties to reduce the instances of careless driving on the UK’s roads have been suggested following a consultation by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning MP.

The proposals feature a number of changes designed to improve driving standards across the country. The would at the same time allow police resources to be freed up, as well as continually educating drivers.

In a similar vein to current speed awareness courses, schemes to educate and enlighten motorists as to their driving standards – in place of penalty points on their licence – would be implemented.

As part of the endorsement system shake-up, Penning is also keen on reviewing the current penalty structure, ensuring the punishment is kept in line with the nature of the offence.

The current proposals are as follows:

  • New penalties for careless driving, including a £90 on-the-spot fine and three points on your driving licence to be introduced.
  • Police given more power to ticket motorists for acts of careless driving.
  • Allow authorities more flexibility in dealing with minor discretions, freeing up more manpower and resources for other initiatives/campaigns.
  • Re-educate careless drivers on their transgressions behind the wheel in place of points, improving attitudes and behaviours on the road. Fiscal fine to stand.
  • Revaluate endorsements and penalties to assess degree of punishment – potential for normal on-the-spot £60 speeding fine to increase to £90.

According to Penning: “The changes support both police enforcement and, for some cases, the associated offer of educational training for motorists unaware of the full, potential consequences of driving carelessly.”

There are no plans to alter rates for parking fines or other non-endorsable driving-related offences, however.