Fixed Penalty Motoring Fines Could Increase
The Government is assessing whether to increase the fixed penalty for motoring offences, including speeding but also taking in more other serious motoring offences. The current fixed penalty fines may be deemed too low and not sufficient deterrent. The current fixed penalty for an SP30 (a speeding endorsement) is £60. The proposed changes would increase this fine to £90 to act as more of a deterrent to motorists, but speeding is not the only offence that could be punished by a fixed penalty.
Under the new proposal,other offences motorists are currently not penalised for with a fixed penalty such as, “tail-gating”, erratic braking or “undertaking” another vehicle, could lead to a fixed penalty in the same way as speeding offences. For more serious offences such as driving without insurance which currently earns a £200 fine, it is proposed that this is increased to £300 as this is perceived to better reflect the seriousness of the offence.
The current levels of penalty fines were set in 2000 and there is a view that with no adjustment having been made for inflation, the severity of the punishment has actually diminished over time and may require revision. With motoring costs such as car insurance and fuel prices proving to be a heavy burden for all motorists, proposed increases in fixed penalty charges may not be well received.
Andrew Goulborn, Commercial Director for car insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk commented:
“Raising current fixed penalty charges for speeding offences could act as a deterrent so that motorists are more careful and more "speed conscious" in order to avoid bigger fines. Also, the possibility of introducing fixed penalties for other offences which are sometimes as dangerous as speeding, such as "tail-gating", may make the roads safer and encourage motorists to be more mindful for other road users. However, whilst the imposition of new penalties for behaviour such as erratic driving may well encourage motorists to drive more safely, it is questionable whether an increase of just £30 in fixed penalties for speeding would in itself be sufficient to significantly modify driver behaviour in this regard”.