/ Motoring

Slow down! Increasing fines won’t reduce speeding

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?

Comments
Member

The only deterrent that will work is you lose your car. Caught using your phone whilst driving you lose you’re phone and your car. And there’s no let me transfer my stuff before you take it, if you don’t want to lose it, don’t do it. Simples.

A Jail sentence needs to be feared by all and not just the law abiding.

Any level if fine is only likely to be paid the the more law abiding anyway. You see these cop programmes and the fines/sentences mean nothing to a small minority of repeat offenders

Member
Sophie Gilbert says:
9 February 2012

Why not have both? And more speed reducing measures in appropriate places such as sleeping policemen, rougher road surfaces, including restoring cobbled streets by reclaiming the beautiful cobbles now adorning some local authority councillors drives. And more visible traffic police. Let the increased fines fund all of that as well.

Member

Please don’t advocate an even more punitive driving experience than we’ve already got! Much of our road network is in such a dismal state of repair that you couldn’t drive fast anyway (with the honourable exception of White Van Man, of course!) Anyway, we are hardly in need of more infuriating, back-breaking, suspension-jarring sleeping policemen, because sunken manhole covers achieve the inverse operation nicely anyway! Then add to that a myriad of on-going road works which act which act very effectively as traffic chicanes …

Member
Phil says:
9 February 2012

It isn’t stiffer sentences which are the real deterrent but the chances of getting caught. If offenders knew that there was an 80 or 90% chance of them getting a ticket they wouldn’t speed. As it is the chances are probably 10 or 20% so nobody worries about heavier fines because they know the chances of having to pay any fine is so low.

The real bowel loosening sentence for motorists is having to take the test again.

Member

A lot of the time it seems to me that in the absence of speed limit signs, people are blissfully unaware of the speed limit of the road they are travelling on, and that includes driving too slowly. I see this as pointing to a complete lack of knowledge of the highway code. The government needs to rethink the whole licence system. At the moment, when you pass your test, you are given a license that is valid for fifty years. Bearing in mind that the first motorway was built only fifty-four years ago, and how the road network and the vehicles on it have changed in that time, a fifty-year licence to operate a one-tonne piece of machinery that can potentially travel at over 100 miles an hour, in an ever-changing environment, is a seriously dangerous idea.
Surely a driving licence should only be valid for a maximum of ten years. At least then people would be more likely to be aware of current laws. Admittedly there would be a lot less drivers on the road for the government to tax, but there would certainly be a lot less accidents.

Member
par ailleurs says:
10 February 2012

Things are gradually changing but until attitudes to speeding alter in the same way as they did to drink driving there will still be problems. Also, modern cars are so smooth and relaxed at 30-40mph that people have no perception of the danger involved on a speed restricted road until they have to react to an emergency.
Then there is the hard core of habitual offenders who drive without licence or insurance. What will put them off? Very little until punishments really do fit the crime. A driving ban for these people is as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

Member
David says:
10 February 2012

I love driving at the speed limit if only to see how many other drivers form a queue behind me in a few minutes. They are not just boy racers, more likely mothers with babies on board, women using a mobile phone, men with a fag in one hand. I wonder how many don’t know what the speed limit is (30 stupd) or do they just not care. I also allow for the fact that my speedo like most others under-reads by about 10%.
There ought to be a fine for the brainless who don’t seem to realise that a mini roundabout is still a roundabout, not a cross roads. And what happened to the 2 second rule (tailgating)?
Driving standards are much worse than they were 30 years ago. The cars might be better but the drivers are worse.

Member

Surely it should be BELOW the speed limit – The speed limit is maximum one can drive at – not some sort of target.

I get tired of the incompetent – careless – idiot drivers that haven’t a clue – Seizure of the car at the first offence should curtail the urge to speed. A £100 fine is derisory – it should be at least £1000.

Member

The extremes of opinion shown here are just as bad as the attitude to speeding. If ever setting a car in cruise control on a motorway was a dead giveaway as to what is likely to happen as many drivers will always harass anyone in front of them just as much as the ‘good’ driver who is doing the speed limit smuggly blocking the road. Appropriate speed on mostly busy roads is the only long term solution where most of the time the humble Yaris will be doing exactly the same speed as the mighty BMW 5 series. Fines should reflect the poor driver attitude particularly with regard to unecessary harrassment by HGVs (which rarely exceed speed limits) just as much as powerfull cars.