Careless driving fines welcomed

MOTORISTS in Scarborough who drive carelessly could soon find themselves facing an on-the-spot fine.

As part of a new Government strategy make roads safer, police could fine people £80 who tail-gate, undertake or cut others up – and impose three points on their licence.

The move has been welcomed by Gordon Stenhouse, of the Scarborough and District Group of Advanced Motorists, as the group’s main focus is on helping people become safer drivers.

He said: “It is an issue that needs looking at because there are a lot of careless drivers about.

“I’m in favour of the idea, but with reservations. It would depend on the misdemeanour itself and I think there would be issues with enforcement.

“How would these people be caught? The police can’t be there all the time.”

Mr Stenhouse added that he believes there are other issues that need looking at, such as increasing the age people can sit their driving test to 21.

He said: “It’s just a personal point of view, but I think 17 is too young.

“There are a lot of accidents among young people who haven’t had much driving experience.”

Driving instructor Lynne Hall, from the Staxton-based Hall Driving School, also thinks that on-the-spot fines would be a good idea.

She said: “I think it’s a great idea. I also wish they could let driving instructors give out the fines because we see so many bad drivers when we’re out on the roads!

“We get people cutting up learner drivers and beeping their horns at them quite a lot.”

However, Mrs Hall, who has been an instructor for two years, also thinks the penalties could be difficult to enforce.

She said: “Things like this always seem to happen when there isn’t a policeman around.”

Currently motorists who have driven in a careless manner have to be prosecuted through the courts.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond will give a written statement to MPs on Wednesday explaining the new strategy for England, Scotland and Wales.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it would also include a crackdown on drug-driving and the closing of loopholes that allow people to escape drink-driving charges.

Disqualified drivers would have to undergo retraining, and possibly take another test, before they got their licence back.

Courts would be encouraged to make more use of their powers to seize vehicles for the most serious offences.

Ministers insist the new approach will try to target genuinely reckless motorists rather than those who normally follow the rules but make an inadvertent mistake.

There will be support for new drivers who need to hone their driving skills, and wider range of retraining and education courses for cases of less-serious offences.

A DfT spokesman said: “The strategy will focus on cracking down on the really reckless drivers through more efficient enforcement. By giving the police the tools to deal with those who present the greatest danger to others we can make our roads even safer.”