Increased driving fines "good news" says RHA
The Road Haulage Association welcomes the news that Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin is considering increasing the fine for dangerous driving offences, including texting or making a phone while behind the wheel, by 50 per cent.
This means that the fixed penalty for using a handheld device while driving would go up from £60 to £90, while other offences like running a red light, driving without a seatbelt and speeding will also fetch a higher charge.
Under the new plans that are being discussed careless driving will be treated as a fixed-penalty notice that will come with three points and a £90 fine. Other offences will include cutting up other drivers, tailgating, hogging the middle lane, driving at an inappropriate speed, eating and lighting a cigarette at the wheel.
“This is good news for all road users,” said RHA spokeswoman Kate Gibbs. “The Road Haulage Association is the only UK organisation that focuses solely on UK hauliers. Our members are professional road users, operating to the highest standards. The vast majority have strict codes of conduct in place which govern the behaviour of their drivers – it is likely that the rules regarding the use of hand held mobile devices is top of just about every employer’s list. Using a mobile phone while behind the wheel isn’t just a distraction for the driver in question – it can put all road users, including pedestrians, at risk.
Traffic Commissioners, responsible for issuing and revoking a haulier’s Operators Licence, can also take action against HGV licences independently of the normal licence system – the punishment for such an offence can result in the licence being suspended for as long as the TC sees fit. “There’s a very simple and straight-forward way to avoid these fines”, concluded Kate Gibbs. “Don’t do it in the first place!”