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Road Safety Bill Put Motorists on Brink of Bans 2006-03-10

Posted by clype in Intolerance, Statistics.
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Nearly one million motorists are on the brink of receiving a driving ban because they have racked up penalty points from speed cameras, a study has found.

About 3 per cent of drivers — 920 000 — are three points away from losing their licences, the usual penalty for speeding, according to the survey by ‘Direct Line’ insurance. The company said convictions for speeding had risen dramatically in the past five years, and the number of drivers with three points on their licence had increased by 7 per cent in the past two years.

A ‘YouGov’ survey of 2 430 adults, commissioned by ‘Direct Line’, found 16 per cent of motorists have penalty points on their licence, 14 per cent having six points and 3 per cent nine points. ‘YouGov’ estimated the number of drivers close to a ban based on the total of 33.8 million motorists in the UK.

  • The survey also showed that more than one in seven — 14 per cent — of the drivers with nine points on their licence would lose their jobs if it was taken away, a total of more than 125 000 people across the UK.

‘Direct Line’ said 92 per cent of those receiving motoring convictions in the past two years were for speeding. Direct Line’s motor spokesman Ms.Emma Holyer, said:

‘Despite the growing number of speed cameras in the UK and the increase in motorists receiving penalty points, our research shows that drivers are still speeding.

‘Drivers need to take notice of the speed limits — and cameras — regardless of whether they agree with them, as they could lose their licence if they choose to ignore them.’

‘Direct Line’ said cameras were first introduced in London in 1992, and there are now more than 6 000 fixed and mobile speed camera sites across the UK. The government’s road safety bill, which was debated in the Commons yesterday, will replace fixed penalties of 60 GBP and three penalty points for most speeding offences with a sliding scale of fines and between two and six points. The Transport Secretary Mr.Alistair Darling, told MPs:

‘Speed cameras are saving lives and reducing speed. We need to do more to make sure the punishment fits the crime.’

However, Mr.Paul Smith, the founder of the anti-camera ‘Safe Speed’campaign, said the survey showed more drivers are focusing on their speedometers rather than the road. He said:

‘Drivers frequently write to me complaining about the dangers of driving with nine licence points.

‘They tell me that every van at the roadside becomes a threat and the speedometer becomes an obsession.

‘They live in dread of missing a speed limit sign. This means that they feel forced to concentrate on speed limit compliance at the expense of concentrating on the road ahead.

‘We are rapidly becoming a nation of drivers obsessed, not with safety, but with mere legal compliance.’

  • Foreign drivers face having their vehicles clamped if they commit traffic offences in Britain, under new measures announced by the government.

The new rules to crack down on overseas drivers — particularly lorry drivers — are outlined in ‘The Road Safety Bill’ having its second reading in ‘The House of Commons’ today 2006-03-09. The government wants to stop ‘offend and go’ foreign drivers who commit offences, are stopped at the roadside, but leave the country without paying. At present, foreign lorry drivers who are stopped for motoring offences are only required to provide an address. There are increasing cases of drivers not being traced, not giving accurate addresses and not returning to appear in court.

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