A recent proposal in the Ministry of Justice consultation document ‘Getting it right for victims and witnesses’ published on 30 January suggests that fixed penalty notices, given for a range of offences from speeding to jumping red lights, be increased from £60 to £90 – and the £30 increase would be used to give a cash boosts to the fund for he victims of crime and witness support.
And there is no real surprise in the news from the Institute of Advanced Motorists that 50% of motorists polled by them, disagreed with the increase.
Although, when asked what they would think if the money went into improving road safety as opposed to victim support in general, 80 per cent of the dissenters were happier with this proposal.
But the whole thing seems to snack of a clawing back of money spent elsewhere, with the motorist once again taking the brunt of governmental shortfall recovery. From petrol fuel duty to the road tax, motorists are being used as cash cows and whipping boys for governments to discuss and dissect, and finally dismantle – if they had their way! And it doesn’t exactly increase confidence in law enforcement.
In fact, 80% of respondents thought that this scheme could reduce driver’s trust in the purpose of enforcement measures, including the hated (Speed) safety cameras.
One interesting fact from the survey involved a question about bad driving. When asked what the biggest deterrent to bad driving was, 68 per cent identified ‘enforcement – the likelihood I will get caught’, with 48 per cent choosing ‘the fear of the consequences in terms of causing death or injury to myself/my passengers or other road users in the result of an accident’, and 42 per cent saying’ the severity of the punishment if I was caught’.
But the thing is that to stop them driving badly, they need to be caught and treat it as a wake-up call – that’s what they seem to be saying. There is a fear of being caught, but until they do they may continuea
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “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.”
There is indeed Simon!