This week tough new laws on antisocial driving have been brought into force that will see careless drivers facing instant fines. We all know the irritation of that driver who drives way too slowly on a motorway or the ones who hog the middle lane like their lives depended on it but will fining these poor drivers bring new harmony to Britain’s roads or will it create more mayhem? Vospers blog gets the lowdown on the new measures.
Down here in the South West driving can often be a pleasure with pretty roads and scenic routes but with those meandering roads and tight bends can sometimes come those drivers who have zero patience or respect for other drivers. Tailgating, or driving right up close to the car in front’s bumper, can be an issue but by the same token so can dealing with those drivers out for jolly slow drive when we’re keen to get work. Both of these factors can now be considered a driving offence and those drivers could be fined on the spot to the tune of £100 as well as having three points added to their license.
Previously driving misdemeanours such as these usually went unpunished, not least because pursuing the case may have meant court appearances for such a relatively small issue. Now though, the police have the power to enforce instant fines and the list of antisocial driving offences is pretty lengthy:
- Failing to give way at a junction (though not causing another driver to take evasive action – this would be a more serious offence)
- Overtaking and forcing your way in a queue of traffic
- Being in the wrong lane on a roundabout
- Hogging a lane needlessly, whether middle or outside lane
- Too fast or too slow speed – not making proper and appropriate progress
- Wheel spins and other inappropriate manoeuvres
This list joins the existing list of on-the-spot fine motoring offences such as mobile phone use or lack of seatbelts but all is not lost for those drivers caught out being careless in their driving. For the time being, they are being given the option to take a driver re-education course instead of taking the fine and points.
At Vospers, we interviewed a number of buyers of new cars in Devon and Cornwall recently and found that almost 50 per cent of them would like to improve some of the aspects of their driving so there are certainly a few drivers in the South West who may be concerned getting caught out with these new changes. The AA too carried out a study among its members and found that around one in three could be risking fines with poor driving habits. It looks like the driver re-education courses could be heavily oversubscribed!
A number of organisations have expressed concern about the how the new system will be administered and road safety charity Brake also called for higher fines in the region of at least £500 which they believe will be far more likely to bring about a lasting change in attitude of poor drivers.
What is your biggest motoring bug bear? Is it Sunday afternoon drivers going at a snail’s pace or boy racers with their aggressive habits? We’d love to hear your views.