Police crackdown on driving offences as tough new measures are introduced (From This is The West Country)
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Police crackdown on driving offences as tough new measures are introduced
9:14am Friday 30th August 2013 in Devon
ROAD safety bosses in Mid Devon say drivers must take responsibility for their actions as tough new rules for motorists come into effect.
The changes allow the police to issue £100 fines and dish out three penalty points rather than taking drivers to court.
New offences include tailgating, hogging the middle or outside lanes on a dual carriageway or motorway, and careless manoeuvres, such as wheel spinsand handbrake turns, alongside the common offences of speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone at the wheel.
Fines which were previously £30, such as for misuse of headlights, are now £50, offences which used to incur a £60 fine, such as speeding, now incur a £100 fine; and the fine for driving without insurance has risen from £200 to £300.
In the past two years seven people have been killed on Mid Devon’s roads, and Cllr Stuart Hughes, county council cabinet member for highways, said punishing drivers is not the only way forward.
He said: “In Devon our collision data suggests poor driver behaviour is the most consistent cause of crashes.
“Our road collisions are about drivers and riders, and their ability to cope in challenging or even routine situations.
“We need to see skills develop and behaviours change, and good driver and rider education and training willmake the difference.
“For that reason we welcome further opportunities to help drivers in an educational setting rather than relying on punitive measures alone.”
Inspector Richard Pryce, lead officer for roads, welcomed the changes, but said drivers need to take more care.
He said: “The police deal with offences when they’re detected, but this shouldn’t be the sole issue in determining compliance on the road. We seek greater levels of habitual compliance.
“The higher fines and introduction of dealing with driving inconsiderately or without due care and attention by fixed penalty fine will be approached in a ‘business as usual’ manner.
“Our capacity to now deal in a more straightforward way with inconsiderate driving offences is another tool in the box for us to consider when policing the roads.”
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