Road hogs face fine
6:22pm Friday 16th August 2013 in Latest News
LANE-HOGGERS and tailgaters in the town could find themselves facing on-the-spot fines under new measures that came into effect yesterday.
The new rules mean police can issue fines and put points on a driver’s licence for a range of offences relating to careless driving.
It is hoped the new laws will help to reduce the number of drivers who are going to court.
Other offences which could now be punished include being in the wrong lane and pushing into a queue on a roundabout as well as wheel-spins, handbrake turns and other careless manoeuvres.
The new rules have won support of driving instructors in the town.
Jo Silvester, 44, of Silvester Driving School, said: “Any laws which make driving on the road safe are a good thing.
“Tailgating is a serious issue and very daunting for new drivers. It needs to be tackled.
“Driving in the outside lanes of the motorway is also a big problem. We are living in a faster world now and people are looking to go that 5mph faster.
“Drivers who coast along in the outside lanes at 65mph easily annoy other drivers.”
However Jo, who has been an instructor for almost five years, has concerns about how the police will enforce the new regulations.
She believes they will only improve driving if the police can successfully punish drivers.
“At the moment, if you phone up the police and say you are being tailgated there is nothing they can do,” she said.
“As it stands the police will have to witness the offence before they can do anything.
“One possibility is to maybe set up a phoneline which people can ring to report an incident so a case can be built up against certain drivers.”
Also included in yesterday’s measures were an increase in fines, with the amount for speaking on a mobile phone or speeding rising from £60 to £100.
The fine for driving without third party insurance has risen from £200 up to £300.
While Jo welcomes the increase in punishment, she has reservations about their effectiveness in comparison to going to court.
She said: “I think a letter from the court will always have more impact and often shock a driver into being more careful.
“It is very easy to get comfortable and fall into bad habits.
“People can get very defensive about their own driving, but it is a learning process we can all improve.”
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