The verdict is still out on the decision of the Department of Transports to allow Police Forces across the UK new options when it comes to prosecuting speeding van drivers and other motorists.
Second chance option gains favour with the police
Transport minister Philip Hammond famously said that: “We’re going to crack down on the most reckless and dangerous drivers, we’re going to support those who are basically law-abiding but who perhaps have an occasional lapse.” When announcing the new measures open to the law enforcement agencies across the country. Now, 37 out of 44 Police constabularies have indicated that they will be offering speeding drivers the option of paying for remedial driving tuition instead of three points on their license and a compulsory £80 fine. It is for sure that professionals drivers will certainly plump for the lessons instead of points on their license, something that could impact massively not only on their commercial vehicle insurance but even their livelihood.
Driving organisations in agreement
Driving organisations by and large seem supportive of the plan, especially as the option for the driving course can only be selected once every three years. This, say the drivers groups will make sure repeat offenders cannot carry on with their bad attitude without being punished. They also point out the Government strategy in re-educating “accidental speeders” could well end up saving lives. Far too many drivers never give the Highway Code a second thought after they have passed their test and sorted out their van insurance.
Road safety campaigners not so happy
This attitude is not shared by Road Safety groups such as The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) and BRAKE. A RoSPA spokesman predicted many drivers would look to take advantage of the system, using precedent as an excuse, while BRAKE are quite vehemently opposed to the idea. They asserted their campaign for more stringent punishment for dangerous drivers everywhere whether it is a speeding van driver or a motorist driving when over the limit.
The new laws which will give the police more power to close loopholes for driving offences are set to be introduced in 2012. It seems both sides of the debate will have plenty to say in the meantime.