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New Somerset motoring group responds to law changes
9:43am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
CHANGES to motoring laws aimed at improving driving standards have received a cautious welcome from a new group in Somerset.
James Mumford, criminal and motoring partner at AmicusLaw, said: “New anti-social behaviour law came into force on Friday to target motorists who drive carelessly with little regard for fellow road users.
“A minority of drivers have always driven poorly without giving much thought to other people on the road.
“This legislation gives the police additional powers to deal with this while giving a name to some of the more amorphous offences committed on our roads.”
Drivers who hog the middle lane on motorways, tailgate or push into queues of traffic will now be guilty of new ‘careless driving’ offences which carry a penalty of £100 – a rise of over 60% on the previous fixed penalty figure – and if caught they will have to pay these on-the-spot.
Three penalty points will also be endorsed on the careless driver’s licence.
Mr Mumford said: “Many of the new rules are aimed at younger drivers who may not have experience of driving on motorways and often consider the middle of these roads to be a cruising lane rather than for overtaking .
“Youngsters are more likely to fall foul of rules banning handbrake turns and wheel spins, or, more specifically, young men showing off in front of their mates.”
“The on-the-spot fines make it easier for police to enforce the new offences as previously law breakers would have been taken down the expensive court route.”
The penalty for using a mobile phone at the wheel has risen to £100, and fines for failing to identify the driver of a vehicle, not wearing a seatbelt and driving without insurance are also rising.
Mr Mumford said: “Whether the new rules stop the snarl-ups on the M5 every summer or prevent a tragedy such as the one witnessed in our county in 2011 remains to be seen, but they’re definitely a step in the right direction.”
For more information on the new offences or motoring law in general, call the motoring law team at AmicusLaw on 01278-664060 or visit their blog on all things motoring at www.somersetspeeding.co.uk
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