Always Drive Safely…
The Department of transport have announced new measures to tackle careless driving today. The new laws were announced by Stephen Hammond who is the road safety minister.
Police now have the power to issue fixed penalties for the following minor offences which were often ignored:
1. Lane hogging: This means using an overtaking lane but not actually making progress and overtaking someone.
2. Tailgating: This means following too close and not keeping the appropriate stopping distance. Anything above 40mph in dry conditions, the two second rule should be applied.
These two offences may seem quite lame, but they are the cause of many accidents especially on motorways and dual carriageways. Drivers often get very frustrated with the person in front who isn’t making the appropriate progress and then take a risk and get too close or try to undertake.
With the new laws in place a following police car could actually fine both drivers. One for hogging and the other for following too close. A fixed penalty will be issued, however the driver will have the option of choosing an educational course instead. The fine will be £100 and 3 points on the licence, so it’s worth doing the course or even better don’t drive carelessly. Obviously this increases the chances of road users who are new on the road of losing their licence. Only 6 points is required within the first two years to lose your driving licence. After the ban, more driving lessons will be required and a re-test.
Suzette Davenport who is a chief constable said the following “We said we would get tougher on those road users who make our roads increasingly more dangerous and that is what we have done.”
These changes should be implemented by the government by July 2013.
Anthony Johnson the owner of driveJohnson’s said the following “The sooner this law is implemented and the sooner the police start taking action against people hogging lanes/ following too close the better. So many accidents occur because of vehicles following too close. It doesn’t get you to where you are going any quicker. Following too close can often intimidate the driver in front and cause them to panic or rush their decision making which in turn can result in them braking too heavy or changing lanes without applying the MSPSL routine thoroughly. One thing I really try to emphasise to my pupils when I am conducting their driving lessons in Milton Keynes is the following distances. Anything over 40mph the two second rule should be applied. If your doing 30mph then it’s 6 car lengths. Remember these all double in the rain and can increase up to 10 times in the ice/snow”.
Check out the typical stopping distances chart to see how the thinking distance and braking distance affects the overall stopping distance.
If you have any questions about careless driving, stopping distances or any other driving matter, then please feel free to leave a comment and we will get back to you.