FPN for Careless Driving

May 12, 2011 — 3 Comments

Yesterday it was announced that there is a plan to allow police to issue on the Fixed Penalty Fines (FPN) to road users who driver dangerously, carelessly and inconsiderately.

The fines will be issued for doing such things as tailgating, undertaking and cutting up other road users. They are certainly welcomed but will they have an effect on how people behave whilst surrounded by metal?

It seems that the fines are here to make the roads safer in the UK and to force drivers to act better on the roads. Another angle is that the fines will skip the process with the CPS, which means it’s relatively fast and the paperwork is minimal in comparison. This means it’s a pull you over, ticket you, on your way kind of job rather than lots of desk work filling out forms for all involved. Basically dealt in the same way as speeding tickets.

At present there are minimal amounts of police on the roads. As I’ve mentioned before the roads are essential un-policed and we are in this current situation because drivers are not being fined, cautioned or warned about what they are doing wrong and thus it becomes an everyday part of their driving.

As Roger Geffen, the CTC Campaigns and Policy Director said:

A careless driving fixed penalty notice is welcome, but should only be used where no injury has occurred and the driving is demonstrably careless, not dangerous. We have concerns that too often driving which is objectively dangerous is treated by police and prosecutors as merely ‘careless’.

He raises a good point that dangerous driving is often toned down. Is this just because we are used to it?
I often get comments on my videos that go something like this:

Close passes are a part of cycling, live with it

Just because it’s something we are currently ‘used’ to, doesn’t mean we should put up with it. Passing a cyclist too closely can be very dangerous and is something that is hardly ever addressed!

Unfortunately there are planned cuts in the police force, which is only going to mean even less police officers on the roads.  Looking at the laws relating to mobile phone use whilst in a vehicle which was introduced in 2003, the number of drivers which still talk away whilst driving is not getting any lower. Clearly the message is not getting through and the drivers know there is little chance they will be caught! Is this just going to go down the same road?

On a good note, a lot of clips of bad driving were shown today on the news. And as the list of cyclists that use cameras gets longer, so does the footage of bad and inconsiderate driving.

We need to continue to highlight the issues we are having on the road with dangerous and inconsiderate drivers. So far this year we have had large amounts of media coverage and things can only get bigger!

News containing videos from cyclists

Gaz

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Gaz is one of the well known cyclists in a growing community of those using cameras. With over 20,000 Youtube subscribers and more than 3,000,000 online video views, his channels and videos are among some of the most popular of their kind. Gaz has spoken on Radio, TV and in national cycling campaigns about the use of cameras and the power of videos.

3 responses to FPN for Careless Driving

  1. I heard that poor driving cases pursued by the police have plummeted from 125,000 per annum in the mid ’80s to around 30,000 today. Nothing to do with better driving, claimed the news, and everything to do with the declining number of police on the roads.

  2. -Close passing may be fact of life, but accepting that dangerous driving is something you have to accept isn’t.
    -videos document stuff, but they don’t do anything to prevent it, not on their own.
    -if your local police care, they will use your videos for enforcement, though they have to perceive it as being worth the effort.

    In Bristol, they do care, some incidents result in them sending letters on police notepaper reminding people to behave (low cost, may make the driver more aware that their actions can be reported), or to visits to the house, and possibly further -though I can’t discuss the latter right now.

    Spot fines and cycling, motorbike and driving videos do go together. You can’t expect the police to be everywhere, and if speeding is to be deprioritised in exchange for a focus on dangerous driving, it’s up to the people on the roads to document it, the police to enforce the rules

  3. How much does an hour of a coppers time cost? If they started blitzing around here I’m sure they could make lots of money to pay for this in very short order. Given that due to a mistake my insurance company paid my car wasn’t on the insurance database and I drove it like that for nearly a month I feel this won’t make an effect until we get some more cops out and about.

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