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Top 5 new penalties to curb careless driving

06 Jul 2012 at 16:13

Let’s face it, driving is not always easy.

Getting behind the wheel is a careful balance of managing many different senses and reactions while processing a tidal wave of information relayed to you through your senses.

But there’s a distinct difference between having “a moment” through information overload, and gratuitous careless driving. The government is thus carrying out studies to see what can be done – and the first details have been revealed.

Following an on-going proposal review by Road Safety Minister, Mike Penning, here are the top five current plans to change penalty guidelines:

  1. New penalties to be levied on careless drivers. A £90 on-the-spot fine and three points on your driving licence to potentially be introduced.
  2. Police empowered further to penalise drivers for careless acts behind the wheel on the public road.
  3. Give authorities more flexibility to deal with minor discretions, freeing up more time for campaigns and initiatives relying heavily upon manpower and resources.
  4. Give careless drivers the chance to experience educational training, alongside fine but in place of points, to improve attitudes and behaviours on the road.
  5. Revaluate endorsements so penalties fit the crime – basically, it means your £60 speeding fine or ticket for driving while talking on your phone could turn into a £90 write-up.

Will they work, though? It’s true that careless driving is a major public concern and a significant cause of injuries and deaths on the UK’s roads. But will a faceless fine solve the problem and rehabilitate drivers? Probably not.

Fortunately, the new initiatives are not just a plan to further tighten the grip on motoring surveillance and further threaten drivers’ licences. A further proposal is for careless drivers to be given educational training alongside the fine but in place of points. This would be run rather like modern speed awareness courses, helping to improve motorists attitudes in a proactive way.

According to Road Safety Minister Mike 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.”

Do you agree with the new plans though, or do you feel they are a step too far?

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