RED welcome the news of greater powers to protect the public from careless and dangerous drivers
Looking beyond the sensationalism of the term ‘on-the-spot fine’, we feel the most positive aspect of the new powers will be the opportunity to address some of the problems through education. We believe that for those less serious offenders who make genuine mistakes, education and not punishment is the way forward and therefore the most encouraging news announced within these measures is the intention to make much greater use of police approved education courses as an alternative to penalty points and fines.
The new powers will effectively be a fixed penalty notice, bringing it in-line with the way speeding offences have been dealt with for some time. Looking at the strategy as a whole, it provides the police with the powers to deal with what is a serious and persistent offence that endangers all road users, including pedestrians.
Unfortunately we worry that, yet again, this is all about headlines rather than substance – this strategy relies on detection and with the huge reduction in the numbers of road traffic police on the road over the last ten years, plus further reductions of traffic officers announced recently through the government funding cuts, the practicalities of policing this will be extremely difficult. However, if these can be overcome and it leads to better drivers, we believe this can only be a good thing.