More Money? Fine Or Not OK?
Motoring groups are up in arms with the news that driving fines are being increased by 50% in September; the first increase since 2000.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning announced the increases, saying “We need to make sure penalties are set at reasonable levels, consistent with the potentially severe consequences of some infringements.”
But, with increases in fines for such minor offences as having a broken light, it is hard to equate this with Mr Penning’s statement.
And it is this that both the RAC and the AA have raised objections to.
The RAC suggested that it is “just a way to bring in more money” while the AA’s president Edmund King was equally as displeased saying that “Motorists are already having a hard time with record insurance premiums and fuel prices.”
It is the increase of the fixed penalty fine from £60 to £90 that incensed Mr King most, primarily in its’ severity. “A fairer way might be an increase to £75, then £90 in 3 years.”
Fixed penalties cover such offences as speeding, not wearing a seat belt and using a mobile phone whilst driving, but will now also cover an offence of careless driving.
Other penalty fines that are covered by this 50% increase include minor non-endorsable offences such as the aforementioned broken light (£45 from £30) and driving without insurance, which becomes £300 from £200.
But there is an (allegedly) bright light on the horizon as these fines arrive. In the case of the endorsable fines, police will be able to offer training courses instead of those points. No doubt these courses will cost more than the fine you would pay, but drivers may prefer ‘nil points’ when it comes to future insurance estimates.
This ‘offer’ may add credence to the views of the RAC I feel.