Flexible speeding fines unveiled
Drivers caught doing 40 to 45mph in a 30mph zone could get six points
on their licence under new road safety measures unveiled on Tuesday.
Those who go recklessly over the limit should face tougher penalties,
road safety minister David Jamieson said.
But drivers caught going just over the limit could get just two points
under a new sliding scale of penalties.
The new Road Safety Bill also raises the penalty for using a mobile phone
while driving from £30 to up to £60.
Offenders would also get three penalty points on their licences.
Recent figures from the RAC suggest use of mobile phones while driving
has actually increased since a ban on driving with hands-on mobiles was introduced.
Mr Jamieson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
"What we are proposing in this bill is that the range of penalty
points for people who are speeding should be extended
So those people who are just over the limit where the police enforces
would get two points, but it would go up to six points for these
people who are well over the limit."
People travelling at 40 or 45mph in a 30 mph zone would "almost certainly"
kill someone in an accident and would face higher
penalty points in this bill, Mr Jamieson .
The Road Safety Bill would also allow courts to force the worst
drink-drivers to retake their driving tests.
Seriously poor drivers could also be made to go into retraining
and the maximum fine for careless driving is increasing from
£2,500 to £5,000.
On speeding, the bill allows ministers to say certain vehicles,
such as donor organ cars, can exceed the speed limits in emergency situations,
Ministers want to cut the number of people killed or seriously
in road accidents by 40%, and by half for children, by 2010.
The government says it is half way towards meeting the targets,
which are based on the average for the years 1994-1998.
But it says more progress is needed:
In 2003, 3,508 people were killed and 33,707 seriously injured
on Britain's roads.
==============================================Key road safety measures
- Variable speeding penalties
- Increased fines for drivers using mobile phones
- On the spot fines for foreign drivers caught in breach of traffic laws
- Tougher action on accidents caused by driver fatigue
- Detection of uninsured drivers through computerised system
================================================ Other measures in the bill include:
- Allowing police to take evidence at the roadside from suspected drink drivers
- Closing a loophole which allows offenders who pose a high risk of re-offending
to continue driving while medical inquiries are carried out
- Mandatory driving bans on anybody found using a vehicle in a
dangerous condition for a second time
- Improving enforcement of European laws on driving hours for lorry and most coach drivers
- Holding trials of motorway rest areas to reduce driver fatigue
The bill would allow the transport secretary to introduce a sliding scale
for speeding offences but does not set the details.
They will be agreed once the results of consultation on the
plans has been digested.
The RAC Foundation said it was important to distinguish between
those travelling a couple of miles over the speed limit in a non-residential
area away from schools and other dangers, and those travelling at high speeds
or in sensitive areas.
But road safety campaigners say downgrading some speeding fines
sends out the "wrong message".
Stephen Joseph of Transport 2000 said:
"We would like to see higher penalties but starting from
the current basis and working upwards not down."
Liberal Democrat transport spokesman John Thurso said the move
linked to the seriousness of crimes was a well established principle.
"It is vital that we do not send the message that modest speeding,
in towns in particular, is somehow acceptable," he said.
"It is important to ensure graduation genuinely reflects the risks posed
to other road users."
The move is also being seen as an attempt to deflect anger about speed cameras.
The Conservatives have pledged to review all speed limits,
assess the effectiveness of all speed cameras and make
speed limit signs much clearer.
They have also promised to concentrate on criminals in cars
rather than on cameras and to clamp down on uninsured drivers
and anti-social behaviour.
Taken From the BBC/News
THESE ARE PROPOSALS !! NOT LAW YET !