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M6 speed cameras to introduce 50mph and 40mph limits

October 16th, 2013 by Marcus

Motorists using a stretch of the M6 will have to go to 50mph between junctions 10a at Wolverhampton and 12 at Cannock – and then down to 40mph up to junction 13 near Stafford.

The Highway Agency have confirmed that new average speed cameras on the seven and a half mile stretch went live earlier this month.

The work, costing £121 million, is intended to open up the hard shoulder to traffic and impose variable speed limits at busy times.

A spokesperson from the Alliance of British Drivers said: ‘Average speed cameras are usually set at 50mph.  That’s also the speed at which drivers are normally asked to travel along a section of motorway with roadworks in order to protect the workers.

‘Changing the speed limit to 40mph for small stretch appears on the surface to be a cynical attempt to catch unsuspecting drivers who are used to adhering to 50mph limits when work takes place on a motorway.’

The new speed limit comes after more than 6,400 drivers were caught breaking a 50mph speed limit in four months on the M54 in Staffordshire.

The speed limit could be in place for up to 18 months.

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Deputy police commissioner fined for speeding at 90mph

October 16th, 2013 by Marcus

Paul Robinson, deputy police and crime commissioner for Humberside Police has been caught speeding at 90mph on the M180 while he was on a work related matter.  He was pulled over for speeding in his vehicle by a traffic officer from his own force.

Robinson released a statement in which he admitted the offence;

‘It’s clear to me I need to give greater attention to my driving and the fine and penalty points will serve as a reminder to me that I have broke the law and been punished for it.  This is the second occasion this year when I have committed a driving offence.’ said Mr Robinson.

He went on: ‘On the afternoon of Thursday September 19, 2013, I was at work and driving on the M180 in North Lincolnshire when I was stopped by a Humberside Police traffic officer who had registered my speed at 90mph.  I admitted the offence and he reported me for prosecution.’

‘I have now received a fixed penalty notice carrying a £100 fine and three penalty points.  I have paid the fine and sent my otherwise clean licence for endorsement.’


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Fine and three points for UK drivers found wearing Goggle Glass while driving

August 6th, 2013 by Marcus

Drivers could face a £100 fine and three points on their licence if they are caught wearing Google’s latest gadget behind the wheel.

Google Glass is a ‘wearable computer’ with a small screen over part of the right eye which allows users to read messages, take pictures and record video.

However, the Government has warned it will fall foul of driving regulations that ban people from using a mobile phone while driving.

Although the technology has still under development, the Department of Transport has said it is in discussion  with the police amid fears the product may divert drivers’ attention from the road.

This could result in drivers incurring a fine as well as three points on their licence.

This is the same penalty given to people who use a mobile phone while driving.

The current fine will go from £60 to £100 from August 16.

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East Sussex workmen to wear headcams to catch anti-social driving at roadworks

August 6th, 2013 by Marcus

Workmen at roadworks are to be given helmets fitted with cameras in an attempt to prevent motoring offences such as speeding, driving while using a mobile phone and dangerous driving.

Any evidence collected will then be passed onto Sussex Police who will then make the decision to take offenders to court.

East Sussex County Council highway chiefs decided on the action in an attempt to keep workers safe.

The authority will display signs warning motorists that inconsiderate drivers could be reported to the police for prosecution.

Councillor Carl Maynard, county council lead member for transport and environment, said: “Our highway crews work in all weathers to keep county’s roads in a good state of repair and they are entitled to expect drivers to be mindful of their safety.

We hope the warning signs and the realisation that bad driving could be captured on camera and details passed to the police, will encourage the inconsiderate few to moderate their driving.”

It is unclear how many of the cameras will be provided and how much they cost.

The scheme will be part of the Operation Crackdown initiative which enables members of the public to report crimes by submitting mobile phone photographs and footage.

Currently, more than 1,000 reports are received every month.

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Drivers in Wales more likely to be breathalysed

July 23rd, 2013 by Marcus

Drivers in Wales are more likely to be breathalysed than in most areas of England.

Latest figures on the numbers of motorists breathalysed for being over the drink drive limit and handed fixed penalty notices for driving offences have been released by the Home Office.

The figures released show that North Wales and Dyfed-Powys police forces breathalyse more motorists than anywhere else in the England and Wales.

In Dyfed-Powys, one in 29 people have been breathalysed, and one in 26 in North Wales.

The overall rate of motorists being breathalysed in Wales in 2011-12 was more than twice that for England.

However, in England, there is a higher percentage of tests giving a positive result for alcohol or being refused by the driver.

Drivers in Gwent are most likely in Wales to be handed a fixed penalty notice for driving offences, with 46 per 1,000 – the third-highest in England and Wales.

This is because Gwent Police Force still has the responsibility for handing out parking tickets, with most other forces handing the responsibility over to local authorities.

Between 2007-08 and 2011-12, Dyfed-Powys police saw a 150% surge in the number of motorists caught using mobile phones while driving, with 2,160 caught in 2011-12.

Seatbelt offences were also up 60%, with 2,783 penalty notices handed to motorists in 2011-12.

North Wales Police has surprisingly cut down on the use of fixed penalty notices in recent years down from 42,000 handed out in 2007-08 to 11,000 in 2011-12.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police said the force runs a number of campaigns to tackle drink and drug driving, seatbelt offences, mobile phone offences, speeding and careless driving.

Chief inspector Darren Wareing of North Wales Police said the force proactively stops drivers during its Christmas and summer anti-drink driving campaigns, adding: ‘As a result of this tactic last Christmas there was not a single alcohol related road incident in North Wales. Not one. No one injured and no one killed.’

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North Wales speed cameras targeted in series of arson attacks

July 18th, 2013 by Marcus

An investigation has been launched following a series of arson attacks on North Wales speed cameras.

The first camera was targeted shortly before 6.30am on Tuesday in Pentre, near Deeside.

Yesterday another two were set alight half-an-hour apart.

Just before midnight n the A5119 near Mold, a car tyre was place on top of the Gatso camera to assist the blaze.

At 12.30pm a similar device on Chester Road, Sandycroft was also set alight after rubbish was placed around it.

North Wales Police are treating the incidents as linked and are currently working with the fire service and the arson reduction team.

Insp Ceri Hawe said: “The cameras are there to ensure the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and deliberate attempts to damage them will not be tolerated”


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Less than one per cent of police officers caught speeding or going through red lights are prosecuted

July 16th, 2013 by Marcus

It has been revealed only a handful of police officers caught speeding or going through red lights are prosecuted.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed that 75,434 officers were caught speeding in the past two years. Unsurprisingly just 753 were ever prosecuted.

It has led to accusations that police officers are routinely ‘let off’ without proper checks while ordinary motorists automatically face three penalty points and a £60 fine or perhaps worse.


Road safety charities have said the high number of fines cancelled was ‘worrying’, showing concerns senior police officers are not carrying out proper checks before letting police off.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: ‘These figures paint a worrying picture. We recognise that in emergency situations, especially where lives are at stake, police need to be able to respond rapidly, but this must be weighed up against the danger posed to the public.

Overall, police have been caught by speed cameras nationwide 75,434 times in the last two-and-a-half years with only 753 prosecuted. However, the figures are likely to be far higher as just 19 out of the 45 police forces provided a full response to the request.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police force said that officers had to justify their speeding before tickets are cancelled.

‘All officers are required to adhere to the policy for driving standards.  If a notice of intended prosecution is issued to the driver of a police vehicle the officer is then required to justify the use of the police exemptions used,’ he said.

‘A supervisor of at least Superintendant rank will quality assure the matter and either support the officer or not.  If the matter is not supported the driver is then required to deal with the NIP as a member of the public.’

What are your thoughts?

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Motorists face drink-drive temptation during summer months

July 15th, 2013 by Marcus

A survey has revealed motorists think there are twice as many temptations to drink-drive in the summer months than in winter.

Of the drivers surveyed, young drivers (aged 18-24) are most likely to be tempted to have summer drinks before getting behind the wheel.

‘We must continue to remind motorists about the dangers of drinking and driving.  It is crucial that drivers and their friends and family consider the hazards of driving and driving on all occasions throughout the summer.’ AA president Edmund King said.

‘Twice as many people agree that there are more temptations to drink-drive in summer than in the winter but it is worrying that a significant number of people would still accept a lift from a drink driver.’

Of the 24,450 drivers polled, females were more likely than males to take away the keys of a driver who was over the limit.

Drivers in the North-West of England were most likely to drink and then driver during the summer months.  In contrast, drivers in Scotland and Northern Ireland were the least likely to do so.

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Minor traffic offences to be heard by new courts in England and Wales

May 31st, 2013 by Marcus

Dedicated traffic courts are to be set up in England and Wales to prosecute minor motoring offences following a pilot scheme in nine areas.

The move comes as part of a drive to cut delays in the criminal justice system and free up overcrowded magistrates’ courts to deal with more serious cases.

Ministers say such cases ‘clog’ up the courts, which should be dealing with more serious offences.

Dedicated traffic courts have been piloted in Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Metropolitan Police, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and West Yorkshire.

Police have said they had successfully ‘simplified’ the legal process by doing so.

The current plan is to open a traffic court in every police area by April 2014 and to use specialist prosecutors to deal with up to 160 cases a day.

Cases that could be heard at the dedicated courts include speeding, traffic light offences and those relating to insurance and driving licences.

The new courts will only have jurisdiction in the 90% cases where motorists admit their guilt.  If they contest the offence, it will be dealt with by magistrate courts as at present.

Justice Minister Damian Green said enforcing traffic laws was hugely important for road safety but the time it was taking to hear cases was ‘simply unacceptable.’

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Drink-drive law tightened to improve road safety

May 26th, 2013 by Marcus

Road safety minister Stephen Hammond has announced that high-risk drink-drivers that have their licences revoked must now pass medicals before returning to the road.

Examinations must prove offenders are ‘no longer dependent’ on alcohol and must be completed at the end of their disqualification period.

Whereas medicals have been mandatory for sometime in certain circumstances, motorists were until recently allowed to drive as soon as their bans expired and had reapplied for their licences.

High risk offenders are classed as those: convicted of two drink driving offences within ten years, convicted of driving when they were two and a half times or more the legal alcohol limit or refusing to give police a sample of breath, urine or blood.

Last year, nearly 22,000 of the 50,000 convicted of drink driving related offences reported by the court to the DVLA concerned high-risk drivers.

Road safety minister Stephen Hammond, said: ‘Drink-drivers are a menace and it is right that we do everything we can to keep the most high risk offenders off the road.  These changes will tighten up the law on drink driving and will mean that the most dangerous offenders will have to prove they are no longer dependent on alcohol before they are allowed to get back behind the wheel.’


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