New ways to target anti-social drivers to be introduced in July
Ever hogged the middle lane or been irritated by someone who has? From July such offenders will be penalised by new measures that will target driving ‘pet hates’ such as hogging the middle lane or tailgating other drivers. And the punishment for these anti-social driving offences? Higher fixed penalty fines and three points on your licence.
The main aim of these new measures is to punish dangerous or anti-social driving without lengthy court procedures. Drivers who use a mobile phone while driving or fail to wear a seatbelt will also fall victim to on-the-spot fines, which are likely to be raised from £40 to £100.
The director of the RAC Foundation Professor Stephen Glaister commented, ‘Anti-social behaviour is as big a problem on the roads as it is in wider society.’ The introduction of these measures will therefore be a landmark day where drivers will finally be held accountable for ‘irritating’ driving behaviour.
The president of the AA, Edmund King, also believes that increases standard motoring fixed penalty fine will ‘help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use.’
It’s hoped that on-the-spot fines will ensure less careless or anti-social driving offences go unpunished. The long term goal is fewer accidents on the motorways and in-turn, lower car insurance premiums.
If we can all contribute to cheaper vehicle running costs, simply by driving in the correct manner, then there is no solid reason for an opposition to all of this, is there?
Enforcing the new measures
However, some people are worried that the new measures could be hard to enforce if there are not enough police on the roads to catch offenders in the act. The director of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Neil Grieg commented, ‘Without traffic cops out on the road to enforce this new approach it will have little impact on road safety.’
There are also concerns that fixed penalty tickets could downplay the seriousness of certain driving offences if they are no longer taken to court. Paying an on-the-spot fine or attending an educational driving course could be seen as a ‘get out of jail free’ card for problem drivers and fail to reduce dangerous or anti-social driving.
Whatever happens, you’ll definitely think differently next time you drift into the middle lane.
Liam is an insurance journalist and has worked for several European newspapers. He is now a freelance writer for several insurance blogs and magazines. One of his biggest passions is travelling and road tripping around the UK.