On-the-spot fines for lane hogging and wheel spinning
LANE hoggers and tail-gaters can now be punished with on-the-spot police fines.
Under the new measures, officers can issue £100 fines and three points rather than taking drivers to court.
Fixed penalties for a number of offences, including using a phone or not wearing a seatbelt while driving, have also risen from £60 to £100.
More serious driving offences will still go through the courts and could result in much higher fines and penalties.
But people caught carrying out offences subject to the new penalties, which were first announced in June, will be able to choose between an on-the-spot fine or the chance to go on a driving course.
The move brings careless or inconsiderate driving offences into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties. Drivers can still appeal any decision through the courts.
Among the offences police are expected to focus on are driving too close to the vehicle in front, failing to give way at a junction, overtaking and pushing into a queue of traffic, needlessly hogging the middle lanes, plus wheel-spins, handbrake turns and other careless manoeuvres.
Many such offences currently go unpunished because of the bureaucracy involved in taking a case to court.
Road safety minister Stephen Hammond told the BBC that the fines had been increased to “reflect the severity and the seriousness of offences”.
He added: “I think it’s the right level to choose, and I'm convinced that it will be a deterrent for a number of people.”