The Department of Transport has unveiled plans to make careless driving a Fixed Penalty Offence (FPN). There will also be the option of education training and even discusses the idea of raising some motoring fixed penalty notices from £60 to £90.
The proposals were outlined as part of a published consultation paper by the department in a bid to shake up the current approach and improve road safety.
How it will work exactly is that motorists who commit ‘less severe’ offences will be given the choice of either accepting an FPN or attending and paying themselves for a driver training course.
The consultation paper commented that the current system of charging motorists for offences was ‘overly bureaucratic’, ‘resource intensive’ for the police and courts, and that ‘high resource costs’ actually deterred officers from making charges.
At the moment there are apparently no proposals to change penalties for parking restriction FPN offences, Mr Penning has said. However, he has warned that they have ‘broadened the scope of the measure’ and are ‘consulting on other options such as increasing the levels for non-endorsable offences, motor insurance offences, and graduated fixed penalties’.
A spokesperson for eQuoteDirect, who specialise in convicted car insurance, comments: ‘The new plans by the Department of Transport are targeting the root cause by trying to improve the impact of enforcing the consequences of these offences. Ultimately driving more safely and making sure you have adequate car insurance cover makes the roads safer for everyone’.
The consultation paper revealed how the preparation of a court file can currently take up to three hours to complete whereas an FPN would take less than half an hour, therefore making the processes more efficient for officers. It is hoped it would therefore make police more likely to enforce them on careless drivers.
In 2011, over 26,000 people were prosecuted for careless and many will be wondering whether the new plans are as a result of those figures.
The government is confident however that the measure would deter careless driving as after driving with a mobile phone was made a fixed penalty offence in 2003, offending rates have dropped and decreased by more than a third in 2008.
So the idea is that if there is a real risk of being caught and the penalty being enforced, then drivers will avoid taking the chance of driving dangerously. eQuoteDirect are also hopeful that it will make drivers more sensible when it comes to taking out insurance policies and also giving insurers the right information, as if the Department of Transport look into this next then many drivers without the right insurance could be playing with fire – and convicted drivers especially could suffer real repercussions.
Changes are aimed at being in place by April 2013. To get car insurance advice from eQuoteDirect today visit www.equotedirect.co.uk and get a quote for your fleet or private vehicle straightaway.