The majority of British people believe drivers who break the law should face harsher punishments, according to a new survey.
The poll found that 80 per cent of people backed tougher penalties for offences such as speeding and 85 per cent wanted to see stricter enforcement of traffic laws.
At the moment most speeding offences are dealt with by a £100 fine (£60 in Northern Ireland) and three penalty points on the driver’s licence.
Only the most serious cases go to court, where fines of up to £2,500 and driving bans can be enforced.
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The survey was organised by Alison Hernandez, road safety lead for England’s Police and Crime Commissioners. She has previously called for a “polluter pays” approach to offences where offenders are charged more and some of the money is diverted to local police forces.
She has suggested that the minimum speeding fine should be raised to £130 and those taking speed awareness courses should be charged an offenders levy.
She said: “Far too many lives are being risked or ruined due to inconsiderate, dangerous drivers who have a blatant disregard for their own safety and that of others when they ignore the law.
“The results of this survey send a clear message that road safety is important to our communities and they want to see more rigorous enforcement of our traffic laws.
“Also, the level of fixed penalty notice fines for some offences is out of kilter with the harm caused.
“The penalty for those caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving doubled to a £200 fine and six points last year, and the maximum fine for those admitting littering from a car rose to £150 – yet the fixed penalty charge for speeding remains at £100 and three points.
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“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am calling for the fixed penalty fines for some traffic offences to be increased to act as a greater deterrent and, importantly, that this additional revenue is passed directly onto local road safety measures, with a priority given to enforcement.”
The survey also found significant backing for her suggestion that fines should be redirected back to local law enforcement. Eighty-eight per cent of those questioned supported giving a proportion of the income to local road safety initiatives and enforcement.