Up to twelve million motorists receive a penalty notice each year, amounting to one billion pounds of revenue. It equates to a fine being issued every 2.5 seconds. Are motorists in Britain treated fairly? Tonight reporter Fiona Foster investigates the true cost of driving.
Fishergate bus lane in Preston has netted close to a million pounds from motorist fines in a year. Lancashire County Council introduced the bus lane to make the centre of town more attractive and safer, and reduce pollution. They say that the revenue generated by the bus lane is used to improve highways, and that they are not there to make money out of motorists. But councillor Yousuf Motala has objected to the bus lane from the start, and has a different opinion on the money raised.
The level of speed fines hit a six-year high last year, with more than two million drivers affected. Numbers of traffic police on our roads has fallen by nearly 30% in the last decade, and 9 in 10 speeding offences are now caught by cameras rather than police officers. Are cameras successful in making our roads safer? Defence lawyer Nick Freeman is not convinced.
Maybe fellow motorists hold the answer. Dash cam owners can now help the police to combat dangerous driving through evidence they capture on the roads. 2.6 million motorists now own dashcams, and that is expected to double in the next couple of years. A website now exists where drivers can upload footage of dangerous drivers, for the police to take action. More than half of Britain’s police forces have signed up so far. West Mercia Police was one of the first forces to embrace the scheme.
Pauline Fielding has dedicated her life to road safety after losing her son in a road collision 24 years ago. She has been campaigning ever since for the council to introduce traffic lights or a roundabout at the junction where he died. The speed limit has been reduced from 60 to 40 miles per hour, and Pauline has now got principle got the support of the local council for a new set of traffic lights. But at the moment, like plenty of other Local Authorities, it doesn’t have the budget to fund them.
Driving: The Trust Cost will be on ITV on Thursday 18th October at 7:30pm.
Some useful links:
- The National Dashcam Safety Portal (https://www.nextbase.com/en-gb/) Formally report dangerous driving captured on your dash cam to the police.
- Road Peace (http://www.roadpeace.org/) The national charity for road crash victims.
- Community Speedwatch (https://www.communityspeedwatch.org/) local communities join with the support of the police.
- Government Motoring Fines Guidance (https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/penalty-points-fines-bans) Information on motoring laws and fines.
- AA (https://www.theaa.com/about-us/newsroom/aa-campaign-for-fairer-parking-enforcement) Read about “Caught In a Trap” - the AA campaign for fairer parking enforcement.
- RAC Foundation (https://www.racfoundation.org/) Motoring research organisation.