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ROAD HOGS FACING FINES AND POINTS

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Drivers who hog the middle lane or tailgate other cars face on-the-spot  fines of £100 and three points on their licence under plans unveiled  today.

Police are also expected to get powers to issue instant fixed penalty notices for not giving way at a junction or using the wrong lane at a  roundabout. Details of crackdown on anti-social motoring are due to be released by the Government in a statement to Parliament this morning.

Transport minister Stephen Hammond told the Daily Telegraph: "Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people's lives  at risk. "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."

Until now such activity has generally gone unpunished because of the bureaucracy involved in prosecuting a case. A motorist has to be stopped by a police officer, a summons issued and evidence presented in court. Other changes being brought forward by the Government include increasing  the fine for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving or not wearing a seat belt from £60 to £100.

The fixed penalty for driving without insurance is expected to double from £100 to £200. AA president Edmund King 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."

IAM comment:

Institute of Advanced Motorists director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "This is a major change in traffic law enforcement and the IAM is concerned that issuing fixed penalty tickets for careless driving downplays the seriousness of the offence. Careless covers a wide range of poor to reckless driving behaviour that often merits further investigation.

"This could free up traffic police time and allow them to maintain a higher profile. But without traffic cops out on the road to enforce this new approach it will have little impact on road safety."

 

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