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Driver's caught middle-lane hogging and tailgating face £100 on-the-spot fines and three penalty points under plans due to be unveiled today. £100 fines for tailgating and hogging the middle lane
Careless drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures announced today (5 June 2013) by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.
The changes will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences - such as tailgating or middle lane hogging - and freeing them from resource-intensive court processes. The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.
In addition, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences - including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt - will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.
Stephen Hammond said:
Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.
We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.
Edmund King, AA President said:
It is worrying that 3 quarters of drivers see others using mobile phones behind the wheel on some or most journeys1. This epidemic of hand held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives and our members have demanded action. An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use. AA members broadly support an increase in the level of the fixed penalty. Our members also fully support educational training as an alternative to penalty points.
We are also pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers – tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle lane hogs.
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport ACPO lead on roads policing said:
The new penalties are absolutely necessary to deal with drivers who are putting people’s lives at risk and police will not hesitate to enforce them.
These measures should also act as a reminder to careless drivers that their behaviour will not be tolerated.
The vast majority of drivers are law abiding, but some are still not getting the message. We said we would get tougher on those who make our roads dangerous and that is exactly what we have done.
The fixed penalty for careless driving will be £100 with 3 points on the driver’s licence. The most serious examples will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties.
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There are no changes to penalty levels for parking offences.
Fixed penalty levels for most of these motoring offences have not increased since 2000, and are now lower than other penalties of a similar severity. In addition, raising the penalty levels for these offences offers an additional incentive for drivers to take up remedial courses which address poor driving behaviour in the longer term.
The changes - which the government aim to bring into force in July this year - are being introduced following extensive public consultation with road safety groups and police forces.
As with other existing fixed penalty notice offences, such as speeding, police forces will also be able to offer careless drivers the option of remedial training.
Endorsable road traffic offences contribute to a significant number of casualties. For example, in 2011, excess speed contributed to 213 deaths and using a mobile phone while driving contributed to 374 road casualties.
Though penalty levels will increase, penalty points will not change. Fixed penalty notices for parking, waiting and obstruction offences will also remain unchanged.
1Populus interviewed 20,936 adults aged 18+ on The AA-Populus online panel between 20 and 23 August 2012. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
Roads media enquiriesPress enquiries 020 7944 3066
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Driving test candidates with tests on Friday 31 May should still come for their test despite the threat of strike action by examiners.
Driving examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Service union are planning to take strike action on Friday 31 May 2013.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is doing everything it can to make sure that tests go ahead as planned and urges all candidates to come for their test as usual.
You won’t have to contact DSA to rebook if you can’t take your test because of the strike action. You should hear from the agency with a new date within 5 to 10 working days.
You can claim out-of-pocket expenses if your test is cancelled, but you must have turned up for your test to do this. If you don’t turn up, you’ll have to rebook your own test and you won’t be able to claim expenses.
Find out how to claim out-of-pocket expenses.
Cancelling or changing your test
You’ll still be able to book, change or cancel practical driving tests online go to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driving-standards-agency
Theory tests aren’t affected by the strike action and will be taking place as planned.
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Nissan has been forced to recall about 841,000 vehicles worldwide due to a faulty steering wheel.
Nissan said that a bolt used in the steering wheel was not screwed on properly, but that there was no danger of sudden failure.
The Japanese car manufacturer said it would recall models of the Micra, produced in Britain and Japan between 2002 and 2006 and the Cube, which was produced in Japan around the same period.
The discovery will affect about 133,869 models of the Micra in the UK.
The carmaker said that it will fix the issue by tightening the bolts or replacing steering wheels entirely.
So far, no accidents involving the cars have been reported, Nissan said. But drivers will notice if the steering wheel is getting loose, the company added.
A Nissan Motor GB spokesman said: "Over time, the nut that holds on the steering wheel can become loose. Drivers could start notice some wobbling of the wheel and if this is ignored there is the possibility that it could come completely off."
"There have been a few incidents of steering wheels becoming loose, but there have been no accidents," he added.
Nissan has said that the repair would take about 15 minutes.
Earlier this month, Nissan recalled 500,000 vehicles globally over a defect in passenger airbags.
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Allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced.
The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads.
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Some vehicles are being recalled by manufacturers and can't be used for driving tests until they've been checked and fixed if necessary.
A vehicle can be recalled by the manufacturer if it has a known safety fault.
There has been a worldwide recall of some vehicles because of concerns about potentially faulty passenger airbags.
Recalled vehiclesYour vehicle will need to be checked and may need to be fixed before you can use it for the driving test if it’s on the list below.
Vehicles registered from 2000 to 2004 are affected - these have the following registrations:
The proof you bring has to be one of the following:
Tests booked for 15, 16 or 17 AprilIf your test is booked for 15, 16 or 17 April 2013 and your vehicle is listed above and hasn’t been checked, your test will be cancelled. However you will be offered another test free of charge.
You still need to turn up for test as planned to show your vehicle is affected by the recall.
DSA’s Fraud and Integrity team led a raid in Greater London on 20 February as part of a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police.
It resulted in the arrest of a DSA driving examiner, an approved driving instructor and 4 candidates suspected of conspiracy to commit fraud.
As a result of this operation 100 driving licences are being revoked.
A BBC report of the arrests was broadcast on the lunchtime national news yesterday.
Watch the BBC video
Bringing offenders to justice
Andy Rice, DSA Head of Fraud and Integrity, said afterwards:
“Although rare, when it happens, driving test fraud is a serious offence that puts the lives of innocent road users at risk.
“We have stringent procedures in place to ensure that any fraudulent activity will be detected. As today’s operation demonstrates, we take all allegations extremely seriously and will work with the police to bring offenders to justice.
“The safety of the general public and the integrity of the driving test are paramount.”
You can report anything you know about driving test fraud to the Fraud and Integrity team on 0115 936 6051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s illegal to impersonate someone (pretend to be them) and take the practical driving test for them.
Impersonators and people who use their services have been convicted in the criminal courts and given prison sentences.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) investigates every case of suspected impersonation and works closely with the police to take offenders to court.
Report an impersonatorIf someone offers to impersonate you for your driving test, report it to DSA.
DSA integrity team
0115 936 6051
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm