Police support launch of new penalty notices

New penalties for drivers, including on-the-spot fines for tailgating and lane-hogging,have taken effect
New penalties for drivers, including on-the-spot fines for tailgating and lane-hogging,have taken effect
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MOTORISTS now face on-the-spot fines if they’re caught acting irresponsibly on the road.

Drivers spotted driving aggressively or inappropriately in the middle lane of a motorway could get a £100 fine and three points on their licence.

Similar punishments will be handed out to those who are spotted tailgating and performing stunts like handbrake turns. The move has been brought in by the government’s road safety minister Stephen Hammond in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour on roads.

Acting Chief Inspector Richard Parsons, from Hampshire police’s roads policing unit, said: ‘Hampshire Constabulary is committed to ensuring the safety of our road users and reducing road casualties.

‘We continually work to cut casualties and welcome any changes that will help us do that.

‘We apply this law through a mixture of enforcement and education, and we’d rather prevent it from happening in the first place through raising public awareness.

‘Careless driving is not a new law, but this change in the fixed penalty notice system is another step towards a less bureaucratic way of dealing with motoring offences and avoiding lengthy court processes, enabling us to make more effective use of our resources.’

Meanwhile, the AA says almost a third of drivers are at risk of being caught out. A survey carried out with 19,949 UK drivers revealed around 29 per cent admitted to hogging the middle lane.

Young drivers are least likely to be able to correctly identify the first lane of a motorway as the ‘cruising lane’, with just 17 per cent doing so correctly. One in ten 18-to-24-year-olds thought it was the ‘lorry lane’ and five per cent thought it was the ‘acceleration/deceleration lane’.

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: ‘We are 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.

‘An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use.’