Do you hog the middle lane on motorway journeys? Perform handbrake turns? Force your way in queues of traffic? Well if you’re caught doing so by police then you can expect a ruddy great fine. The government is expected to announce plans to fine motorists that drive carelessly or antisocially to the tune of £100.
Such offences have largely gone unpunished because of the red tape and bureaucracy involved in bringing offenders to justice. Motorists have to be stopped, issued a summons and have evidence presented against them in court, all of which is a disincentive for police, who view it as unnecessarily time consuming.
However the new proposals will give police the power to issue instant fixed penalty notices to motorists.
Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk,” said Stephen Hammond, transport minister.
“That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.
“We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.”
Other offences that could land you a £100 fine include using mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt, and tailgating.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use.
“We are also pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers – tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle lane hogs.”