Charity welcomes fixed penalty for careless driving, but calls for higher fines

5 May 2013

Brake, the road safety charity
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The road safety charity Brake has welcomed a government announcement that it is bringing in on-the-spot fixed penalty notices for 'careless driving' offences, but called for higher fines to deter risky law-breaking.

The changes announced today include:

  • New police powers to issue on-the-spot fixed penalty fines for less serious careless driving offences
  • Existing fixed penalty fines for most driving offences, including mobile phone use and not wearing a seat belt, will rise from £60 to £100.

Read the Department for Transport announcement.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "We welcome the introduction of on-the-spot fines for careless driving, to make it easier for police to catch and prosecute risky law-breaking drivers. We are also pleased to see a much-needed rise in driving offence fines, but think this doesn't go far enough. It's crucial we encourage greater respect for laws on our roads, which are in place to protect people's lives, and higher fines can help achieve this. £100 is not enough to pose a strong deterrent to potentially life-threatening behaviour, like using a mobile at the wheel."

"We are also calling on government to stem worrying cut-backs in traffic policing levels. We believe traffic policing should be made a national policing priority, to ensure we have sufficient numbers of officers enforcing vital safety laws on our roads."

Read Brake's response to the consultation.


Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (18-24 November 2013), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.