Fixed Penalty Notices May Rise To £90

By Elliot | 10th April 2012 | Category: Road Safety | Leave a comment

The government are considering increasing fixed penalty notices from £60 to £90.

That this proposition was contained within a Ministry of Justice consultation document entitled “Getting it right for victims and witnesses” speaks volumes of their motivation: the £30 increase will make for a £30m cash boost to the fund for victims of crime and witnesses support.

Fixed penalty notices are issued for a range of offences. Be that as it may, they are most commonly associated with such malpractice as speeding and jumping red lights.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) were keen to find out how people feel about this. They polled 1129 motorists and discovered that 51% disagreed with the proposed increase.

28% admitted to disagreeing strongly with the proposal and only 35% gave it the thumbs up. 13% are on the fence – neither agreeing nor disagreeing.

However, many were happier with the notion that this money should go into improving road safety instead of victim support – with 80% agreeing in this respect.

But why do so many people disagree in the first place? Surely this move would only hit those who break the law in the first place? If you drive safely, like you're supposed to, surely you've nothing to worry about. Those that are victim to bad driving, though, would benefit hugely.

However, 80% expressed reservations that this scheme could reduce driver's trust in the purpose of such enforcement measures as speed cameras.

For when asked what they felt to be the biggest deterrent to bad driving, 68% gave the nod to “enforcement” - namely, the likelihood of getting caught. 48% chose “the fear of consequences in terms of causing death or injury to myself/my passengers or other road users in the result of an accident”. Only 42% said that the severity of the punishment if caught acted as an incentive to driving safely.

Says IAM chief executive Simon Best: “While funding victims of crime is laudable, the real aim of fines for motoring offences should be deterrence.

“We want to stop people breaking the law. Having an income that relies on dangerous driving won’t help reduce crashes. There is a strong case for this money to be spent on road safety.”

But how does it make you feel; and what, if anything, influences you to drive safely?

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