Changes have been introduced to give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving.

Source: Department of Transport

Careless drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures announced today (5 June 2013) by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

The changes will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences – such as tailgating or middle lane hogging – and freeing them from resource-intensive court processes. The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.

In addition, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences – including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt – will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.

Stephen Hammond said:

“Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.”

“We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.”

Edmund King, AA President said:

“It is worrying that 3 quarters of drivers see others using mobile phones behind the wheel on some or most journeys1. This epidemic of hand held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives and our members have demanded action. An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use. AA members broadly support an increase in the level of the fixed penalty. Our members also fully support educational training as an alternative to penalty points.”

“We are also pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers – tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle lane hogs.”

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport ACPO lead on roads policing said:

“The new penalties are absolutely necessary to deal with drivers who are putting people’s lives at risk and police will not hesitate to enforce them.”

“These measures should also act as a reminder to careless drivers that their behaviour will not be tolerated.”

“The vast majority of drivers are law abiding, but some are still not getting the message. We said we would get tougher on those who make our roads dangerous and that is exactly what we have done.”

The fixed penalty for careless driving will be £100 with 3 points on the driver’s licence. The most serious examples will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties.

There are no changes to penalty levels for parking offences.

Fixed penalty levels for most of these motoring offences have not increased since 2000, and are now lower than other penalties of a similar severity. In addition, raising the penalty levels for these offences offers an additional incentive for drivers to take up remedial courses which address poor driving behaviour in the longer term.

The changes – which the government aim to bring into force in July this year – are being introduced following extensive public consultation with road safety groups and police forces.

Related documents

  • Fixed penalty levels for motoring offences, written statement by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, 5 June 2013
  • Changes to the treatment of penalties for careless driving and other motoring offences consultation

Most motoring fixed penalties offences will rise under the changes:

  • a non-endorsable (where the driver does not receive points on their licence) £30 fixed penalty notice will rise to £50
  • an endorsable (where points are given) £60 and non-endorsable fixed penalty notice will rise to £100
  • an endorsable £120 fixed penalty notice will rise to £200
  • the fixed penalty notice for driving with no insurance will rise from £200 to £300

Graduated fixed penalties (mainly for commercial goods and passenger carrying vehicles and including offences like drivers’ hours and overloading) and financial deposits (for drivers without a satisfactory UK address) will also increase:

•a £30 non-endorsable fine will rise to £50
•a £60 endorsable and non-endorsable fine will rise to £100
•a £120 endorsable and non-endorsable fine will rise to £200
•a £200 endorsable and non-endorsable fine will rise to £300

The consultation took place from 14 June 2012 to 5 September 2012.

As with other existing fixed penalty notice offences, such as speeding, police forces will also be able to offer careless drivers the option of remedial training.

Endorsable road traffic offences contribute to a significant number of casualties. For example, in 2011, excess speed contributed to 213 deaths and using a mobile phone while driving contributed to 374 road casualties.

Though penalty levels will increase, penalty points will not change. Fixed penalty notices for parking, waiting and obstruction offences will also remain unchanged.

The Real Cost of Cheap Driving Lessons

Cheap driving lessons? Prices of lessons vary considerably. The length of lesson (the length of lesson can vary between 45 minutes and a full hour) where you live is also relevant.

It’s unlikely you can get lessons for less than £20, and some schools charge up to £28. Please remember, the cheapest may not be the best.

It’s worth asking – if a Driving School has cheaper than the cost of an average driving lesson, ask yourself why are they so cheap?

  1. They could be using you for training their instructors.
  2. Question their ability for teaching. If they are charging below average fees then is the tuition will be below average, what corners are they cutting to make ends meet are they sitting by the side of the road wasting time and saving fuel?
  3. Any driving instructor worth their salt should really be generating recommendations. If not then question their ability.

In Cambridgeshire for example expect to pay about £26 for a good quality, full hour’s driving tuition. £26 for an hour is in fact very cheap when you consider the Instructor’s overheads.

The Driving Instructors Association calculates that to earn the national average wage an Instructor should be charging £32+. So comparing the cost per hour to other professions you would be getting a great deal. For Driving Lessons in Cambridge & surrounding towns, choose an Instructor in your area.

Are Intensive Driving Courses any Good?

Certainly they work for some people but for others an intensive driving course (or crash course) is too intense! It will depend very much on the individual. But remember it’s not a short cut. You still have to learn the same amount.

I would suggest that to gain the best from learning that you allow time in between your lesson to internalise what you have learnt. Slow and steady about 2 hours per week is usually good.

In reality humans have a limited amount of concentration in one go. If you have booked an intensive course that includes about 4 hours per day over several days you can assume some of those hours would have gone to waste.
If you have some driving experience already and nearly at test standard then a short intensive might be of benefit.

If you would like any further advice please don’t hesitate to ask.

Don’t Get Ripped Off when Booking Your Theory Test



Please Do NOT be fooled by the theory or practical test booking services that appear in the sponsored listings in a Google search.

You will end up paying more than £60.00 for a booking that should only cost £31.00, an extra £30.00 for literally nothing at all.

Let’s take some examples of “unofficial” test booking sites:

  • – Has a admin charge of £18.00 totalling £49.00
  • – Has an admin charge of £28.50 totalling £59.50
  • – Has an admin charge of £28.50 totalling £59.50
  • – Has an admin charge of £15.99 totalling £46.99
  • – Has an admin charge of £17.00 totalling £48.00

They will charge upto an extra £30.00 on top of the £31 DSA booking fee. What do you get for this extra? The answer really is Nothing!

You can obtain a Theory Test training DVD from someone like ‘Driving Test Success’ for about £6.00. You can obtain additional free advice from your instructor. I give additional theory test training to my students for FREE.

These companies claim free re-sits if you fail your test. The reality is that in order to benefit from this service (which, remember, costs and extra £30) you have to satisfy a range of unrelistic conditions. It doesnt even cover you if you fail hazard perception! So what are you paying the extra for?

Their booking services often have official looking DSA Theory Test logo’s using the same colours and other road safety logos to fool you into thinking that they are official.

Services prey on the nervousness of people hoping they do don’t read the small print.

My Considered Opinion. Save your money and prepare properly for your test and you’ll pass. The cheapest way to is to pass it first time. Ask you instructor for the best way to prepare for your test.

How to Drive on Ice and Snow

The basic rules in the video clip apply now as they did then.

With the weather changing for the worst and the snow causing disruption on the roads. The residents of Cambridgeshire would think that all drivers would be prepared and go into winter driving mode as soon as snowflakes begin to fall from the sky.
The same happens every year! Drivers across the province seemingly forget how to drive in the snow; as a result, we see large volumes of accidents.
To avoid becoming one of the statistics please, take the following winter driving tips into account and jog your memory about how to drive.

Slow down: One of the biggest mistakes that people make is driving too fast on snow covered roads. Slow down and drive according the road conditions.
Extra time: The odds are it will take a few extra minutes for you to get to your destination. Take this into consideration and leave a few minutes earlier than normal.
Clean your car: Too many people leave ice and snow on their car and windscreen that restricts their visibility on the road. This can cause a number of issues such as not seeing other cars and pedestrians. Switch your lights on, not only to see but to be seen. Far too many people are not cleaning their lights of snow. It would help for other motorists to notice you, to know when you are breaking and to see where you are indicating.
Stay home: If the roads are in bad condition, stay home if you can avoid travelling.

The snow means it is time to adjust our driving habits. Slow down, be more cautious, and don’t go out into the bad weather if you don’t have to.

All you need is some common sense. The secret of safe driving is TIME (did I say that out loud?). Giving yourself time to react, time to slow down, time to stop, time to keep safe control of your vehicle.

There is only one way to give yourself time….and that’s reducing your speed! I don’t mean driving like a 90 year old grandmother. I mean driving at a speed which is appropriate for the road and the conditions.

Moving off on ice & snow requires a higher gear and slow acceleration. When you slow down let the car lose its momentum by coming off the accelerator early, brake early and progressively.

Safe driving!

Why is Defensive Driving So Important?

As we enter into this topic, take a moment to think about a situation where you noticed another vehicle driving very poorly. Maybe they were swerving, speeding, or doing something as simple as not using their indicators. Now think about how you reacted, or how you would want to react if you were driving near another motorist who exhibits dangerous driving.

One of the most important aspects to safe driving is being aware of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to other vehicles in your lane, adjacent lanes and oncoming traffic. Watch out for pedestrians and animals in the road. Always try to know were other vehicles are located as you make progress down the road. These are all vital components of defensive driving. If you know where a vehicle is behind you and how fast they are approaching, you have a much better chance of making the right decision when a wreck occurs in front of you or when a deer runs out in the road. Knowing the distance between you and other vehicles and the difference in speeds helps you to determine whether you should speed up, swerve left or right, or hit the brakes to avoid a collision.

Life saving maneuvers often occur with a split second decision. If you are not paying attention to your surroundings, how can you possibly know which action to take to save your life or some else’s? Try to think about defensive driving at all times when you are on the road. Try to anticipate what you might do if the articulated truck next to you on the motorway merges into your lane because you are in their blind spot. Do you slam on your brakes, swerve left, lay on the horn, all of the above, or even none of the above? Knowing exactly what is going on around you will ensure you take appropriate action to avoid the collision.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Wow! Look at that bird perched in the tree! Not while you are driving you don’t. It is inevitable things will catch you eye while behind the wheel, but paying too much attention to anything not related to driving can not only be dangerous, it can be deadly.

A vast majority of vehicular accidents occur due to distracted driving of one type or another. While many the police take action against distracted driving by upholding stringent safety laws regarding what you are or are not allowed to do while driving, there are still so many things in this world that can take our eyes off the road. As with anything else, you have to pay attention to what you are doing. Driving is no different. In fact, it is perhaps one of the most important actions we take in which we must pay close attention to what we are doing.

We have learned through previous articles the importance of maintaining your focus and practicing defensive driving. Neither of those can be accomplished while you are distracted. Paying attention to the road also helps to ease anxiety of your passengers. If you are constantly looking at other things, the person in the passenger seat will begin to notice your lack of focus while driving. This can make people very uneasy. You don’t want your passengers to be fearful of your ability to keep them safe while in your car. Maintain focus and keep your eyes on the road. Your passenger will feel much safer if they notice you are cautious and careful while driving, and trust us, they will notice.

Put down the chocolate bar, certainly do not use your mobile phone while driving, and don’t stare at billboards or the people in a car next to you. Maintain focus and concentrate on the task at hand: Driving. If you are not focused on utilizing the proper driving skills you have obtained, the dangers of having an accident or running over a road hazard increase greatly. Don’t let your guard down just to find out you should have been paying attention to the road.

How to get a Short Notice Driving Test

Getting a short notice test is achieved by making use of existing previously booked driving test cancellations appointments.

For example, if a test candidate is not ready for or unable to take their driving test they may cancel it and rebook a later appointment. Every day there are thousands of these cancellations being made available. When a cancellation is processed, the test appointment slot is then available to be used by other candidates.

You can contact the Driving Test Booking service by phone on 0300 200 11 22. This number is charged at a local rate from a landline and is included in your allocated minutes on your mobile.

Or the easiest way is to go online to Book Your Driving Test Here, this has the advantage of temporarily reserving an appointment up for 15 mins, which is long enough to check with your Driving Instructor if they can make the new appointment. If you also ensure to enter your driving instructors number then they are unlikely to double book with another test.

This will take some patience, persistence and time to get the result you want.

Driving Test Data Shows a Big Decline in Collisions Over Past 5 Years

Research by Intelligent Car Leasing reveals that driving tests are showing an overall decline in collisions with other vehicles over the past 5 years.

Intelligent Car Leasing gathered data on the number of collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians in driving tests over the past 5 years (and first quarter of 2014). This ranged across a number of test types for cars, LGVs, PCVs and motorcycles.

Fortunately the statistics for number of collisions with pedestrians are negligible with only 1 in the past 5 years occurring in 2012 (but 2 so far in 2014).

Looking at the stats provided for the first quarter of 2014 Intelligent Car Leasing has calculated a huge predicted fall in the number of collisions during driving tests compared to previous years which is great news for road safety in the UK. Read on for some thoughts on why collisions may be decreasing.

Data shows a long term decline in drivin test crashes

Car Large Goods Vehicle Passenger Carrying Vehicle Motorcycle Total
2009 598 13 9 9 629
2010 491 10 5 14 520
2011 469 17 6 45 537
2012 648 29 3 47 727
2013 446 22 9 14 491
2014 16 3 0 1 20

This data is both positive and interesting, but it raises the question of why collisions with other vehicles in driving tests are getting lower (and set to fall much lower if the reported stats from the first quarter of 2014 continue on trend).

To get an insider view of what might be causing this trend we asked an expert, see their opinion below: – “If you think about it, a collision is most likely to occur when the driver on test is not experienced enough to either avoid making a mistake of their own, or to react appropriately and promptly enough to avoid a mistake by someone else.

You could argue that candidates are better overall (at the top end of the spectrum), but that would almost certainly be wrong as it isn’t borne out by overall pass rates. More likely is that candidates are not as bad at the bottom end. However, that is speculation without knowing the details of the candidates involved.

Another possibility is that the examiners are taking action more readily and are proactively preventing collisions. After all, instructors have to do that all the time on lessons, but examiners typically sit back and let things progress much further before stepping in (the candidate is supposed to be a full licence holder in waiting, after all).”

No matter what the reason for this decline it’s hugely positive to see such a trend emerging in the UK’s learner driver industry. The fall in collisions during tests found in this research reflects well on pupils, instructors and examiners. Anything that goes towards making the roads safer is positive and Intelligent Car Leasing hopes this trend will continue in the years to come!

Britain’s drivers are well known for being safe when taking to the roads, a study conducted in 2011 showed the UK to have amongst the safest roads in Europe. This new data 3 years on shows that the next generation of drivers are continuing to improve on the UK’s positive road safety record. There’s no reason to believe that this shouldn’t translate to a much safer environment for both drivers and passengers alike in the years to come.

Article & Study with reference to

Faster is Safer?

A two-year experiment by the Danish Road Directorate shows accidents have fallen on single carriageway rural roads where the speed limit was raised.

Accidents have also fallen on motorways where the speed limit has been increased.

Since the speed limit on some streatches of two-way rural roads was increased from 80 to 90 km/h (50 -56mph), accidents have decreased due to a reduction in the speed differential between the slowest and the fastest cars. This has resulted in less overtaking. The slowest drivers have increased their speeds, but the fastest 15% drive one km/h slower on average, despite the higher limit. While the average speed remains similar to before, the speeds are more homogeneous on the roads in question.

On sections of motorway where the speed limit was raised from 110 to 130 km/h (68-81mph) nine years ago, fatalities also decreased.

The research will continue until 2015, when the full results will be published.