Drivers under the cosh!

Parking ticket on windscreen

Parking ticket on windscreen (© ronfromyork / Shutterstock)

Four-fold increase boosts speeding fines to £10,000

On top of taking more money than ever from drivers when they’re parked, the Government has ordered a four-fold increase in fines for speeding on motorways. 

Quadrupling fines means a rise from £2,500 to £10,000 for extreme cases. Penalties for using a mobile phone at the wheel and breaking the speed limit on dual carriageways will also be increased four-fold, from £1,000 to £4,000. More serious offences such as careless driving or driving without insurance will have the current £5,000 maximum replaced by unlimited fines.

At the same time, new figures released by the Government show that local councils took more than £1bn in parking charges from cash-strapped car owners in 2012/13. The amount taken in fines increased to £353m, up 11 per cent on 2010/11. Combined with parking fees, it means drivers paid £721m last year. On top of that, councils made another £586m from car park fees.

Automotive expert and head of transformation at Green Flag, Nick Reid said: “All these increases do is push up the already high cost of motoring and increase the fear and anxiety that drivers will face when they’re simply getting in their cars to go from A to B. I’m not saying it’s right to break the speed limit, but the penalty has to fit the crime.”

Are the four-fold rises in fines for motorway speeding justified?

NO

Rupert Lipton, National Motorists’ Action Group

“It will have a serious chilling effect. We will find motorists will be deterred from going to court when they don’t believe that they are guilty of an offence. For general speeding allegations you’re allowed to take a fixed penalty, currently £60 and three penalty points on your licence, or agree to complete a speed awareness course. But if you wish to challenge it you can currently face six points and a £1,000 fine on non-motorway roads or £2,500 on the motorway. That is a sufficient deterrent.”

YES

Jeremy Wright MPParliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice

“Financial penalties set at the right level can be an effective way of punishing criminals and deterring them from further offending.”

Is it right for councils to increase parking revenues?

NO

Hugh Bladon, Alliance of British Drivers

“You don’t have to be a sceptic to think that they’re out to fill their coffers. People who drive cars are an easy target. It is the simplest thing to paint new yellow lines and set up pinch points as a means of getting money. Drivers are already hit by excessive motoring taxes, and they’ll be extremely angry if they suspect they’re being used as a cash cow. Councils should be looking to reduce their payrolls rather than to milk drivers.”

YES

Peter Box, Local Government Association

“The number of parking tickets issued by councils is always determined by the amount of drivers parking illegally. More recent figures show that the number of parking tickets issued last year went down. This means fewer drivers are parking dangerously outside schools, blocking roads and pavements or stopping people parking near their homes or local shops.”

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