Alfa Romeo Forum banner

Should the police have powers to issue fixed penalty points for 'careless driving'

  • Yes

    Votes: 7 63.6%
  • No

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • I don't care

    Votes: 0 0.0%
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A conversation we're having in the GTA lounge at the minute.

Police will soon be given powers to issue on the spot fines and points for what they deem to be ‘careless driving’.

Now, my issue is that these powers should never be given to the police, as they should be deal with in a court as it's far too subjective on what is or isn't careless driving. The police should not have the power to be judge, jury and executioner on such matters... Speeding is fine as they have specialised equipment to tell them if someone is breaking the law.

As someone pointed out, you could reject the fixed penalty and go to court, this is all well and good, but I see the following scenario happening:

Even if you're not in the wrong, and don’t agree, you risk nine points and £5,000 fine if you argue against a fixed penalty and lose in court.

The courts have already said that if a fixed penalty is argued and you lose in court the fine/points will be harder than if you just accept the fixed penalty.

If Joe Bloggs with a clean licence gets pulled for doing a normal manoeuvre, and the police officer is having a bad day and read the situation wrong and dished out a fine/points.. and Joe Bloggs had the option of court (knowing that the court would side with the police) he's more likely to just accept the fixed penalty for nothing.

What do you guys think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,604 Posts
Yes IMO - road stupidity / ignorance such as tailgating, lack of indication, middle lane cruising etc should be punished, seems to me that speeding alone is subject to fines etc when that alone is not dangerous.
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Yes IMO - road stupidity / ignorance such as tailgating, lack of indication, middle lane cruising etc should be punished, seems to me that speeding alone is subject to fines etc when that alone is not dangerous.
But when do you ever hear of anyone being pulled for such things as tailgating or middle lane cruising?

This sort of driving seems to be ignored by the police.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,604 Posts
That's my point :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,381 Posts
Subjective!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,172 Posts
Undertaking, not keeping to the left lane, tailgating and dangerous overtakes are some examples of acts of dangerous driving that are not subjective. That's the kind of act that I imagine these fines will be handed out for and these are all things that should be worked on to be eradicated from the UK roads.

I don't doubt that there will be some disputes but if a stopped driver is confident that they haven't committed an offence, then it can be contested. If they truly didn't commit an offence they will be cleared.

The act of being given points or a fine for driving without due care and attention isn't new, except previously for it to be enforced it had to go court. Generally it was the Police who made this happen, so all the new rules are doing is stopping a lot of wasted time by sending drivers to court by issuing fines & points on the spot instead.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Undertaking, not keeping to the left lane, tailgating and dangerous overtakes are some examples of acts of dangerous driving that are not subjective.
So on a dual carriageway, exiting a roundabout in the right hand lane would be dangerous driving?

Define 'tailgating' it could be applied to anyone not keeping two chevron’s apart, so pretty much all drivers would tailgate at some point.

There are far to many variables.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I don't doubt that there will be some disputes but if a stopped driver is confident that they haven't committed an offence, then it can be contested. If they truly didn't commit an offence they will be cleared.
Even if I knew I hadn't done anything wrong, I would still probably take the points rather than having to take a day off work and take the risk of 9 points and a £5,000 fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,172 Posts
So on a dual carriageway, exiting a roundabout in the right hand lane would be dangerous driving?

Define 'tailgating' it could be applied to anyone not keeping two chevron’s apart, so pretty much all drivers would tailgate at some point.

There are far to many variables.
Dangerous driving? We're talking about careless driving - dangerous driving is a totally different and much more serious offence.
I don't quite grasp what you mean by exiting a roundabout in the right hand lane, but it's quite clear to me that if you are not keeping to the leftmost lane when it is clear and free then you are in the wrong.
Tailgating is driving too close to the car in front for the speed at which you are travelling and the road conditions. The chevrons are a guide, not absolute.

What it boils down to in the end is that if a motorist is driving like a dick, then there should be a system that allows them to be held accountable for their actions in an efficient manner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,604 Posts
...What it boils down to in the end is that if a motorist is driving like a dick, then there should be a system that allows them to be held accountable for their actions in an efficient manner.
+1

What he said

:thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37,783 Posts
You guys really are not listening to Luke. :tut:

You drive down a dual carriageway at 70 and catch Mr Muppet doing 54 in the outside lane. If you undertake him you are breaking the law. If you flash him or get too close you are tailgating, again breaking the law.

Who is gonna get pulled? Mr undue-care-and-attention in the Rover 200 or you?

What Luke is also pointing out is that the state is also now threatening you by saying "If you argue with the police over their interpretation we will make you suffer for it"

As a confident driver I would pull into gaps that others may consider "dangerous" because they are less confident. So plod gives my collar a feel and I say, "no, I'm used to doing that, no problem" Whammo £60 fine.

I complain to Mr Magistrate and he says "you argue with us, £5,000 fine"

It is not fair and not democratic. This is merely undermining the freedom of individuals and supporting the "march you to the cashpoint" mentality that governments have tried to bring in before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,604 Posts
The slow git and the tailgater are both at fault in that example...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,172 Posts
You drive down a dual carriageway at 70 and catch Mr Muppet doing 54 in the outside lane.
In your example Mr Muppet would be the one to receive a fine as he is not keeping to the leftmost lane.
Just because someone else is doing something wrong, doesn't give you the right to perform an equal act such as undertaking or tailgating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37,783 Posts
In your example Mr Muppet would be the one to receive a fine as he is not keeping to the leftmost lane.
Just because someone else is doing something wrong, doesn't give you the right to perform an equal act such as undertaking or tailgating.
Ahh, Bobda, you are young and full of naivety :rolleyes:.

Are there any clear laws to state how soon you should pull in to the left lane or what is a reasonable time to deal with gaps between cars etc etc - no!

Is there a clear law that says "if you undertake or tailgate we will nick you"? Yes!

I do not know of anyone, apart from a couple of ridiculous examples we managed to trawl up of people doing 25 on the motorway, who has been pulled for that sort of driving. More to the point, pulled for what? Undue care? The rant room is filled with people complaining about middle lane hogs - I NEVER seen one get pulled.

Subjective viewpoints such as this should not be the subject of on the spot fines, especially where it is a case of "If you argue with me I WILL punish you further!" Since when has that ever been fair?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,172 Posts
It would be due care and attention if I recall (I remember there being a thread about it on Pistonheads with input from a fair few trafpol - can't find it at the moment because their search is down) and the reason they don't get pulled is because for that offence it isn't a straightforward fine/points - it has to go to court which is overkill. If it is introduced into this new on the spot fine system then it will be much easier to enforce.

It's clear from yours and others posts that it's fairly easy to recognise when someone is hogging the middle or outside lane - I know I certainly can - so it would be easy for the Police to do the same.

EDIT >> Here's a thread from a Police forum advocating stopping MLMs as well as accounts from a few who have stopped them and some advice as to what they can be stopped for. http://www.ukpoliceonline.co.uk/index.php?/topic/37733-middle-lane-of-motorway/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
The whole point is it relies on the opinion of the officer and as such is subjective.

If the police think you have commited the offence fine issue you with a summons and sendm you off to explain to the magistrate...

this new system will just punish you if you dare to say "listen officer I think you were wrong"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,405 Posts
How about if it's backed by video evidence?

How many offences aren't dealt with because an officer has a 'without another officer here, it's my word against theirs' stance? Surely that would apply for lone officers in cars and could only be dealt with when there are 2 officers that have seen the offence? Having video evidence would negate the need for the offence to be spotted by at least two officers?


I think also it sets a precedent. How long before the police deal with even more offences this way because it reduces paperwork and workload for the court system? The need to make savings is eroding, undermining our justice system?

I'm not sure where the cuts being made to courts across the country fitted with the England wide looting spree? The crime figures really show that less crimes are being committed and there are less need for courts?

There are only two ways, courts or police officers deciding there and then and administering any penalty? There aren't other ways?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
You guys really are not listening to Luke. :tut:

You drive down a dual carriageway at 70 and catch Mr Muppet doing 54 in the outside lane. If you undertake him you are breaking the law. If you flash him or get too close you are tailgating, again breaking the law.

Who is gonna get pulled? Mr undue-care-and-attention in the Rover 200 or you?

What Luke is also pointing out is that the state is also now threatening you by saying "If you argue with the police over their interpretation we will make you suffer for it"

As a confident driver I would pull into gaps that others may consider "dangerous" because they are less confident. So plod gives my collar a feel and I say, "no, I'm used to doing that, no problem" Whammo £60 fine.

I complain to Mr Magistrate and he says "you argue with us, £5,000 fine"

It is not fair and not democratic. This is merely undermining the freedom of individuals and supporting the "march you to the cashpoint" mentality that governments have tried to bring in before.
Thank you! :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
The whole point is it relies on the opinion of the officer and as such is subjective.

If the police think you have commited the offence fine issue you with a summons and sendm you off to explain to the magistrate...

this new system will just punish you if you dare to say "listen officer I think you were wrong"
Spot on!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,673 Posts
I think a greater police presence would resolve this, I hardly ever see any police in my area, I can go weeks without seeing a police car.

Out of sight, out of mind.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top