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New careless driving fines are “pointless” due to lack of traffic cops
NEW careless driving fines are ‘pointless’ because there are not enough traffic cops to hand them out.
This is the view of the chairman of Dorset Police Federation who says the number of traffic officers in the county has fallen by a third in the last two years to just 36.
Clive Chamberlain spoke out yesterday on the day the fixed penalty notice system for careless driving came into force.
Those caught committing careless driving offences such as hogging the middle lane of a motorway or tailgating face an increased £100 fine and will receive three points on their licence.
Similar punishments will be handed out to drivers who perform stunts like handbrake turns as part of a move to tackle antisocial behaviour on the roads.
Existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences – including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt – rise to £100.
Mr Chamberlain said he welcomed anything that detered people from committing offences on the road.
However, he added: “It is all very well introducing fines for traffic offences but who is going to enforce the fines?
“We only have 36 traffic officers covering the whole county and with a reduction in all officers – there simply isn’t enough.
“With fewer officers policing Dorset how are people really going to get caught.
“If the government is serious about policing the roads they should ensure the police service is equipped to deal with it.”
The new penalty notice system for bad driving has been welcomed by police forces across the country.
Chief Inspector Tim Lumley, of Dorset Police Traffic Department, said: “Any new proposals which aim to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads must be a good thing and are welcomed.”
He said action will continue to be taken against drivers through the county’s No Excuse campaign.
Acting Chief Inspector Richard Parsons, from Hampshire’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “This change in the fixed penalty notice system is another step towards a less bureaucratic way of dealing with motoring offences.
It helps avoid lengthy court processes, enabling us to make more effective use of our resources.”
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