Motorists in West Yorkshire could be issued on-the-spot fines for tailgating and lane-hogging from today as part of a new crackdown on bad driving.
The fines are part of changes giving road policing teams across the country powers to issue penalty notices for £100 and add three points to drivers’ licences.
The most serious examples of bad driving will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties. As part of the changes, the level of fines for some existing offences, such as using a mobile phone while driving, will also rise.
The move could go down badly with motorists, with a recent poll of 3,000 drivers by Auto Trader showing that 60 per cent reckoned the new fines would make no impact on road safety.
The police will also be able to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal against any decision in court.
The changes give officers more flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences, freeing them from time-consuming court processes.
Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Careless driving puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we have made it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed-penalty notice for low-level offending rather than taking these offenders to court.”
Chief Inspector Mark Bownass of West Yorkshire Police, said there would be no change to how roads in the county were policed as a result.
But he said: “The new fixed penalties provide officers with a toolkit which allows them to deal with the offence based upon their perception, right through from a fixed penalty ticket to a traffic offence report.”