Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has announced plans to raise fixed penalty speeding fines from £60 to £100, with a lot of the additional money going towards victims’ support services. So will this help prevent speeding?
Each year £66 million is spent on victim support services by the government.
Raising speeding fines to £100 would mean speeders are funding up to £50 million of this cost, compared with the £10 million they are currently contributing.
Some people are highly likely to see this move simply as a tax on drivers and a way to raise money rather than reduce speeding on the roads. And I think they may have a point. Wouldn’t it better to increase penalty points to put offenders off speeding rather than increase fines?
Better to increase penalty points
Under the current regulations a fixed penalty fine for speeding will set you back £60, and a minimum of three penalty points will be added to your licence. Drivers can then be disqualified under the ‘totting-up’ system by building up 12 or more points over a three-year period.
By increasing the minimum penalty points given, however, more drivers (particularly repeat offenders) would think twice before speeding as they would hit that 12-point barrier considerably quicker.
Others just see this as a way of bringing old penalty rates up to date – the penalty levels for motoring offences have remained the same for the last 10 years and have fallen behind other fixed penalties.
Additional motoring offences covered in the proposal include using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring pedestrian crossings and failing to wear a seatbelt.
Do you see these proposals as just an extra tax or is it a reasonable way to raise money for victim support services?