Couriers, hauliers and anybody working for road transport companies know how frustrating some drivers can be. Whether they’re bad drivers or just plain ignorant, it only takes one to spoil your day.
So surely you all jumped for joy at the news that on the spot fines are to be brought in for reckless drivers? Well, we did a (by no means scientific!) straw poll on Twitter and Facebook and the majority of people think the idea is a bad one. And you only need to have a quick search on Google to find many people berated that those who hog the middle lane and force people to undertake won’t be penalised.
The plans, outlined by transport minister Philip Hammond earlier this week include £80 – £100 fines for those who undertake, tailgate or cut other motorists up. The idea is to crack down on careless drivers, but there are obvious issues. For example, are you still tailgating if someone pulls in front of you? If you are overtaking and the person speeds up as you pull in are you cutting them up?
The issue with these new penalties is that proving them could be very difficult, it’s very easy to prove when someone breaks the speed limit, but less so if you’re tailgating. When the points could affect your livelihood, insurance and dependents it would seem challenging the fine would be an ideal option – but the cost could be astronomical.
Although the Association of British Drivers and other such bodies have welcomed the move, they too have issued concerns:
“Whilst tailgating and reckless overtaking/overtaking on the inside must be tackled and there is no excuse for such behaviour, Mr Hammond should also look at the overall picture of inconsiderate driving and what leads to the frustration behind such behaviour. Lane discipline or ‘lane hogging’ is a major issue here as are inconsiderate drivers who hold up long streams of traffic refusing to pull into lay-bys to allow traffic to flow freely.”
These plans are part of a wider initiative, with other ideas including confiscating vehicles from dangerous drivers and introducing a test before those who have been banned can get back behind the wheel.