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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
Out of hours 020 7944 4292
Public enquiries 0300 330 3000
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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.
From 19 January 2013 driving licenses will look different to comply with new EU rules.
On 19 January 2013 the European Union Third Directive on driving licenses comes into force. All new driving licenses from this date will have to meet the terms of the Directive. The changes will mainly affect motorcyclists, lorry, bus and minibus drivers and those who tow trailers. For more informations go to Gov.uk
Ministers may consider moves to ban young drivers in England and Wales from carrying anyone except family members as passengers, reports suggest.
Young drivers could be banned from carrying non-family passengersYoung drivers face a ban on carrying anyone other than family members as passengers under proposals being considered by the Government to cut the number of road accidents involving teenagers.
Other options include banning novice drivers from carrying passengers altogether.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr McLoughlin said he was ready to look at measures which could reduce the the number of accidents involving novice motorists and cut the cost of providing them insurance cover.
According to the Association of British Insurers, which submitted the proposals to the Department for Transport, one in eight drivers is under 25, but they account for one third of the number of people who die on the country’s roads.
It estimates that an 18-year old driver is three times more likely to be involved in a crash than a motorist 30 years older. In 2011, drivers between 17 and 19 were involved in 12,000 crashes of which more than half resulted in serious or fatal injuries.
“I read regular reports where three or four young people have been killed in a car and it’s a new driver and you wonder what happened,” Mr McLoughlin said.
“It is not an area I have closed my mind to, far from it.”
Mr McLoughlin's remarks came against a backdrop of mounting concern at fatal accidents involving young drivers. Last month Eleanor Coleman, 19, from Great Yarmouth was sentenced to 15 months youth detention for killing her best by driving her Fiat Punto into a lorry parked in a layby following a Halloween party. The crash took place at 5 am.
Earlier this week Naimo Jones, 19, was jailed for six months after killing her best friend in a car crash in Blackpool. The court heard she was showing off when she lost control of her Vauxhall Corsa as it hurtled into a blind left-hand bend.
The proposals were given a "wholehearted welcome" by the road safety charity, Brake. "We have campaigned for many years for the Government to overhaul the system for training and testing drivers.
"Placing restrictions on newly qualified drivers would signficantly improve safety and help to reduce the appalling number of serious casualties that involve inexperienced novices.
"We know from research that young drivers are far more likely to crash when they have passengers of their age in the car. Placing this restriction makes sense."
The ABI believes restricting the number of passengers is a move that the Government should take. A YouGov survey to be released next week by the insurance group will show significant public support for curbs on young drivers.
The survey will show that 71 per cent of Britons would back a limit on the number of young passengers that newly qualified young drivers are allowed to carry.
It will also show that 58 per cent of people support a curfew on night-time driving between 11pm and 4am for newly-qualified young drivers, unless they are driving to and from work.
The ABI said that both limits should be in place for the first six months after a person between the ages of 17 and 24 gets their driving licence.
James Dalton, who overseas motor policy at the ABI, said that "radical action" is needed to "reduce the tragic waste of young lives on our roads, especially among the 17-24 age group".
"A car is potentially a lethal weapon," said Mr Dalton.
An ABI spokesman added: "Any restrictions to limit the number of passengers young newly qualified young drivers can carry for an initial period after passing their test would be a step in the right direction."
The Government has faced calls from the ABI and road safety groups to introduce what is known as a graduated licence, which would impose additional restrictions on drivers who have just passed their test.
In Northern Ireland for example, novice motorists must carry an R-plate and are not allowed to drive faster than 45 mph until they have been driving for a year.
The only restriction faced by novice drivers - irrespective of their age - is that they can have their licence revoked if they accumulate six penalty points within two years of parking their test.
How new restrictions would be enforced remains unclear. Road safety experts believe that young drivers who infringe the rules could face points on their licence or being sent on a course aimed at novice motorists.
Up until now the Government has resisted moves to introduce a graduated licence in England and Wales despite calls from organisations, such as the RAC Foundation, for such a move.
"We need to stop young people killing themselves - and others - on the roads. Casualties have been in decline but this age group is still shockingly over-represented in the stats,” said the Foundation’s director, Professor Stephen Glaister.
“If a modest curb on driving privileges can lead to a meaningful drop in death and injuries - and evidence from abroad suggests it can - then we would support some form of graduated licencing.”
Edmund King, the AA’s president, however, voiced doubts on imposing a ban on carrying passengers.
“It is something we think is extremely impractical,” he said. “We think it is sometimes useful to have a designated driver, who takes three mates home rather than having them travel in separate cars.”
"I can't see how this will be enforced. How can you tell whether somebody in the car is a family member or not? What family members are included? Do they mean someone older? What is their role?
"These things sound reasonable but in practical terms they are very tricky"
Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety, said more work needed to be done before young drivers took their test.
“Young drivers remain a key area where we need to make progress. They are the economic future of our country.
“As well as looking at post-test restrictions, we also need to improve driver training and instruction and the quality of learning. IN that way, we can build quality driver learning.”
Driving examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union could take strike action on Friday 30 November 2012.
To find out more go to DSA
Customer service centre DSA’s customer service centre for practical driving tests might also be affected by strike action on Friday 30 November. You’ll still be able to
book, change or cancel practical driving tests online on GOV.UK.
Theory testsTheory tests aren’t affected by the strike action and will be taking place as planned.
Motorists that are caught driving on illegal tyres is also a topical issue this month. Shocking figures released by Tyresafe have revealed that in 2010, there were 10,475 court convictions related to driving on defective tyres. Keep your tyres to a roadworthy standard and make sure you avoid a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points!