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Penalties on the up

Doesn’t everything seem to be more expensive these days? And that now includes the cost of fixed and graduated penalty notices. The changes came into effect in August and have made careless driving and hogging the middle lane of a motorway offences punishable by a fixed penalty notice (FPN).
Examples of careless driving under the new legislation include overtaking on the inside, driving too close to another vehicle, and pulling out of a side road into the path of another vehicle.  Drivers who are caught using a mobile phone whilst driving now attract a £100 fine – an increase of £40. Drivers of commercial vehicles who are found to have broken Drivers’ Hours rules will be handed a graduated fixed penalty notice, the cost of which, in some cases, has nearly doubled.
In summary, the basic changes are as follows:
  • New power for Police to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for careless driving (£100 plus 3 penalty points)
  • New Fixed Penalty levels for most driving offences (e.g. mobile phone offences, now £100)
  • Increase in Fixed Penalty for No Insurance from £200 to £300 (6 penalty points as before)
  • Though the fines have increased, penalty points for the offence in question will remain the same.

A comparison of the new penalties is shown below:
Old Penalty / New Penalty
£30 / £50
£60 / £100
£120 / £200
£200 / £300
Offences attracting the top level of fine include failures to produce a digital driver card, not having the necessary full set of Driver’s Hours records or driving with no insurance, amongst others. Given the high levels of fixed penalties it is essential that drivers double-check that they have with them all necessary licences / cards (Driving Licence, CPC DQC, digicard, etc) and other paperwork.   

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