New on-the-spot fines: what do motorists need to know?
Tailgaters and lane-hoggers beware: police powers to crack down on careless drivers come into force
MOTORISTS who tailgate or hog the middle lane now face on-the-spot £100 fines and three points on their licence, as new measures to tackle careless driving come into effect today. Drivers will be able to choose between a fine or an educational driving course, and can still appeal against any decision through the courts. Serious cases of careless driving will still go to court and might attract higher penalties, but police can now issue fixed penalty notices on the side of the road for these "less serious" motoring offences:
Lane-hogging: Poor lane discipline, such as needlessly staying in the middle or outside lane
Tailgating: Driving inappropriately close to another vehicle
Overtaking on the inside: Using the slow lane to overtake a car in the middle lane, for example
Avoidable distractions: Tuning a car radio or lighting a cigarette could land drivers in trouble if they are "avoidably distracted" from the road
Traffic light etiquette: Running a red light, even inadvertently
Inconsiderate driving: Includes offences such as emerging from a side road into the path of another vehicle or pushing into a queue
Careless manoeuvres: Wheel-spins and handbrake turns
Existing fines for other motoring offences have also risen today. Fixed penalty notices that once cost drivers £60 and three licence points will rise to £100. These include using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt.
Other misdemeanours that previously drew a £30 fine, but no licence points, will rise to £50. These include: failing to give way at a junction, not having an easily-seen car tax disc, obstructed car windows, misusing fog lights and beeping your car horn at night.
The fine for driving without insurance has also risen from £200 to £300. ·