As has been widely publicised in the media, measures that allow the police to issue 3 points and a £100.00 fine for careless driving offences have come into force today. In addition, the fixed penalty for offences such as using a mobile phone whilst driving have also been increased from £60 to £100 fine.
Reaction to the new measures has been mixed. Many people have questioned how it will be enforced when Government cuts have resulted in the number of trained traffic officers on our roads being at an all time low.
Unlike a speeding offence that depends on a determination of whether the speed exceeded the limit, careless driving offences are for more subjective. They depend on the individual circumstances of each case which vary considerably. The new scheme entitles a police officer to act as “judge and jury” by issuing a fixed penalty based on his own personal view of an incident. Faced with a choice of taking a fixed penalty of 3 points or potential court proceedings many people will be tempted to take the former option even if they did not commit the offence. This many result in penalty points being endorsed unustly for careless driving offences.
As motoring offence solicitors, we handle cases of careless driving on a regular basis. We offer a free initial consultation to anyone concerned about potential prosecution for motoring offences.