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Changes to the treatment of penalties for careless driving and other motoring offences - 02/08/13

Existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences - including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt - will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties. Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: ‘Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.

‘We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.’ Therefore, as from 16th August 2013 -

  • a non-endorsable £30 fixed penalty notice will rise to £50
  • an endorsable £60 and non-endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice will rise to £100
  • an endorsable £120 Fixed Penalty Notice will rise to £200
  • the fixed penalty notice for driving with no insurance will rise from £200 to £300

Graduated fixed penalties (mainly for commercial goods and passenger carrying vehicles and includes offences like drivers’ hours and overloading) and financial deposits (for drivers without a satisfactory UK address) will also increase:

  • a £30 non-endorsable fine will rise to £50
  • a £60 endorsable and non-endorsable fine will rise to £100
  • a £120 endorsable and non-endorsable fine will rise to £200
  • a £200 endorsable and non-endorsable fine will rise to £300

This link is to the details of changes to penalty levels for most motoring fixed penalty offences and typical offences to which they apply.

NB Although penalty levels will increase, penalty points will not change. Fixed penalty notices for parking, waiting and obstruction offences are unchanged. Fine revenues will continue to be paid to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service and the cost of Speed Awareness courses remain the same.

Gdynia Way – 99.95% of Motorists Get It Right!!.

Improvements to the Eastern approach to Plymouth replaced a two lane, one way road through Gdynia Way with a bi-directional three way carriageway. It now handles approximately thirty thousand vehicle movements per day – or 11 million per year! In order to allow safe travel an enforced 30 mph limit was introduced using an average speed camera system. This was the first new fixed camera site in Devon and Cornwall since 2006.

In the first 12 month period since the revised road layout was completed, and speed enforcement began in November 2011, only 0.6 drivers per hour have been detected by the camera system. This is equivalent to one detection for every 2,083 vehicle movements with the average speed of all vehicles measured by the system being 29.2 mph. This represents an exceptional level of compliance with the speed limit and the number of detections has continued to reduce over time. This shows that the camera system is having the required effect of controlling vehicle speeds.

Of these approximate 11million vehicle movements, there were 5390 camera activations. Typically, at a site such as this, approximately 50 % of those detected will have been offered a speed awareness course and 2% of the remainder were emergency vehicles. In addition, of those drivers detected, only 12 offences have been referred directly to court due to the severity of their speed.

While levels of compliance are exceptionally high, it is clear that a very small number of drivers / riders are abusing, or even more worrying, unaware of the speed limit. Motorists are reminded that in systems of street lighting the speed limit is 30 mph unless speed limit signs are visible to indicate otherwise. Legislation requires that 30 speed limit repeater signs are not used in a system of street lighting.

There is no legal requirement to display camera warning signs however these are in place on Gdynia Way as an aid to help motorists comply with the speed limit.

Inspector Richard Pryce, Head of Roads Policing, said “Drivers using Gdynia Way are demonstrating, in huge numbers, that they know what the speed limit is and, importantly, are sticking to it. Safety on this road is crucial and managing vehicle speeds through average speed enforcement is quite clearly working extremely well”.

Camera Data Study

To read the PDF report please use this link: Guidance on Use of Speed Camera Transparency Data

Professor Allsop is an established academic in the field of transport and has just published a detailed and complex technical report on statistical techniques on how to assess camera data. We welcome the conclusion that in general cameras have statistcally robust casualty reduction benefits, which supports the professor's earlier work.

Given the in depth nature of the report it will take some time to understand its full detail. Partners will then need to consider whether they will review camera data differently as a result This is complex task and the partners have not been funded to undertake this work which may also take some time to complete

Where the partner organisations in Devon and Cornwall have been able to publish the available data they have done so, and they continue to work on it as resources and finance allow in the annual cycle of gathering, collating and validation of collision data. Professor Allsop mentions the presentation of Devon and Cornwall camera data does not lend itself to easy data analysis, however it was compiled in a graphical format to allow normal members of the public to see the information in a simple visual format.

While we welcome the contribution Professor Allsop has made in to this complex field, the review of camera operations have further implications beyond their immediate casualty reduction effect. Partners will also need to consider the impact on communities blighted by speed and where speed management has been introduced as part of a risk assessment of new road features, must still be taken into effect.

To read the PDF report please use this link: Guidance on Use of Speed Camera Transparency Data

Changes in cost recovery from Speed Awareness courses for the Devon and Cornwall area

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

There has been an increase in the take up of Speed Awareness Courses within Devon and Cornwall.  This is reflective of changes made nationally within the Driver Offender Retraining Schemes influencing the eligibility of drivers to be diverted from prosecution into an educational intervention.  The cost of detection, administration and delivery of these courses is now partially met by the offender.

The Devon and Cornwall Partnership has always believed in the value of educational interventions and, in October 2005, was one of the first Police Force areas to participate in the National Speed Awareness programme.  In addition,
Partners continue to contribute to the running and maintenance of camera operations.

One of the benefits for motorists is that attending a course does not result in a prosecution or licence endorsement, but allows the motorist the opportunity to modify their behaviour before that becomes necessary.  The road safety benefit to other road users is clear.

A recent study by Professor Robin Martin, of Aston University School, Birmingham, showed that speed awareness course led to reliable improvements in client’s attitude to speeding and, importantly, their future intention not to break the speed limit.  Professor Martin, who headed the in-depth 18 month research project, said “The benefit of the course occurred immediately and persisted several weeks after course delivery.  The speed awareness course led to very reliable improvements in clients’ attitude towards not speeding”.

 

AA Response to Insurers - INSURERS SHOULD RECOGNISE SPEED AWARENESS COURSES

Thursday, November 23, 2012

  • AA 'astonished' at insurer premium hikes for course attendees
  • 86% of drivers say driver awareness courses should be offered
  • 'Resentful' driver: 'My whole attitude to safety changed'

The AA has reacted with astonishment at news1 that at least one motor insurer increases its customers' car insurance premiums if they have attended a speed awareness course, treating them in a similar way to those accepting a statutory three-point penalty and £60 fine.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance says: "The view of most insurers, including the AA, is that attending a course is a responsible approach and should not be penalised by increasing premiums in the same way as a fixed penalty."

Speed awareness courses are offered by police forces for minor speed infringements and typically cost around £90. More serious motoring offenders are not offered them while those who go on to re-offend can't take a second course for three years.

Mr Douglas points out that drivers who have a single speeding conviction are 10% to 12% more likely to make a claim than those who have a clean licence.

"Offenders who have not seriously exceeded the speed limit can expect to be offered a speed awareness course and there is considerable evidence that doing so changes driver attitudes and makes them less likely to both re-offend or claim.

"However, offend again and that good work is undone: drivers won't get a second chance to attend a course for some time," says Mr Douglas. "Second speed offenders are 18% more likely to make a claim2 following a crash than a driver with just one offence."

According to an AA/Populus poll of 11,548 AA members3, 86% agreed that driver improvement courses should be offered as an alternative to prosecution. 71% thought that such courses should be offered for minor speeding offences while only 34% thought they should be made available to serious offenders.

Research commissioned by Thames Valley Police4 found that, six months after attending a course, drivers were 50% less likely to re-offend than those who opted to pay a fine and accept points on their licence. Similar research from Northumbria Police suggested that 95% of drivers changed the way that they drive as a result of the course.

David Richards, spokesperson for AA DriveTech which runs driver rehabilitation courses for police forces, says that being caught for speeding is a wake-up call for most drivers and if they're offered a course, they should take advantage of it.

"Most drivers go on a course reluctantly and simply to keep points off their licence. The likelihood of not seeing their car insurance premiums rise, as will happen if they accept a penalty, is a further incentive.

"But once they are on the course the majority of drivers quickly find that they make better informed driving decisions which brings about real improvements in their attitude towards speed and other driving tasks.

"It's absolutely clear that such courses reduce the likelihood of re-offending and therefore attendees are less likely to be involved in a crash, which in turn contributes to improved road safety for everyone," he added.

"I hope that other insurers don't start penalising those who do attend them: it will destroy much of the important progress being made to improve road safety."

What attendees say

Typical comments from drivers who have attended a speed awareness course:

  • "I must admit, I went with very limited expectations, feeling slightly resentful…I feel a bit ashamed to say that I now feel reacquainted with some of the Highway code! My whole attitude towards speeding and general road safety has changed…I have taken a fresh interest in driving as a result."
  • "I entered this course knowing I had been speeding and the policeman was 100% correct. I thought I knew nearly everything after 40 years driving and had never previously been stopped for anything. As the course went on, I realised by the minute the less I really knew…probably the best money I could have spent…"
  • "I have to admit … I was not looking forward to it, viewing it as a chore that had to be done, and going with the attitude that I would probably be bored stiff and would be wasting four hours of my precious time. Was I wrong!"

 

Possible Higher Premiums for Speed Awareness Courses

Thursday, November 23, 2012

ACPO lead on roads policing, Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, said: "Police want to improve road safety and speed awareness courses are designed to do just that. These courses reduce risk and raise awareness of road safety so it is not appropriate to increase insurance premiums for drivers who go on to educate themselves in these areas. Drivers should not be deterred from informing themselves on road safety."

 

Speed Limit Reduction at Roadworks on the A38 Marsh Mills Viaduct

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From 5/11/12 the Highways Agency will be constructing crossover points in the central reserve at either end of the A38 Marsh Mills viaduct. This will take approximately 5 weeks and involve night time closures. The diversion route will be to use the off slips (in either direction) and continue straight across the roundabout to rejoin the A38 on the other side. The carriageway will be fully open to traffic during the day time with 40mph speed limits in place; due to the central reserve being open at points.

Following construction of these crossovers sections, repairs will be carried out to the west end joint on the west bound carriageway (adjacent to the Beefeater Restaurant). It is likely that this work will commence on 7/1/13. During the 3 to 4 week period of works, there will be a single lane contraflow on the eastbound viaduct, 24 hours a day, with a 40mph speed limit in place.

The decision on whether to enforce a temporary speed limit in road works is made by the Highways Agency when they assess the risks, and costs, of their scheme. Currently, the Partnership has received no request to deploy speed enforcement, but will review any future requirement as it arises through the duration of the scheme.

 

Motorist's Fines Total £3,445

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Today, 22/8/12 at Barnstaple Magistrates Court, Malcolm Gigg, 39 from Exmouth, was sentenced for driving at excess speed on the A361 westbound Nr Sturcombe Viaduct, Knowstone, Devon.  Gigg had previously been found guilty of travelling at 93mph in an area restricted to 60mph.

The Defence, represented by Motoringlawyers.com, used the claim of exceptional hardship to avoid a driving ban.  They alleged that, as a partner in a firm of architects, Gigg’s business interests would be severely impacted upon.  They also disputed the costs that had been submitted in this case.

The Prosecution, however, pointed out that considerable time and resources had already been invested by the Police, and the expert witness Steve Langdon from Road Safety Support, as a result of the volume of information requested by the Defence. 

The amount of work necessary to meet those demands was reflected in the resulting sentence.  Giggs was given 6 penalty points, fined £1,000, plus victim surcharge £15 and ordered to pay costs of £2,425 – a total of £3,445.

A spokesperson for the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership said ‘The Police and the Crown Prosecution Service go to great lengths to ensure that, in any offence, all procedures have been adhered to, and prosecutions are secure, before proceeding.  However, everyone has the right to legal representation at Court’.

 

SLOW DOWN!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Police Motorcycle Officer with mobile speed cameraPolice Motorcycle Officer with mobile speed camera

Nearly 300 speeding offences, 41 of which involved motorbikes, were captured on the first day of a speed reduction campaign.  Although the operation was primarily designed to address the number of biking fatalities experienced recently, vehicles of all classifications were captured speeding. In addition, a number of other road traffic offences are being investigated as a result of evidence gathered on the day including those motorists whose offences are now being considered for court proceedings.

The operation, on Sunday 13th May, involved a total of seven Police enforcement vehicles, including speed detection and marked Police vehicles, operating across more than 20 sites in Devon, Plymouth and East Cornwall.  A number of Community Speed Watch volunteers also joined the operation.

The highest number of offences was detected at Stoketon Cross, scene of a high speed motorcycle fatality some years ago, but a significant number of offences were also detected within urban areas of Plymouth.

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership said “The weather was good and there were many motorcyclists out on the road; the majority of whom were riding very well. However, Officers have reported that some bikes noticeably slowed up to pass the camera van and then accelerated rapidly.  Further instances of antisocial riding were also reported and as a result of this we are now considering additional measures. 

These might include the use of unmarked vehicles and other techniques.”

The combined enforcement team will continue to deploy regularly at locations across the Partnership area over the summer months in an effort to promote safer driving and reduce road casualties.

A38 Saltash Tunnel

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2012
The Highways Agency has installed signs to advise road users of the presence of safety cameras in the A38 Saltash Tunnel. These signs will alert all road users of the presence of average speed cameras, and that vehicle speeds are being monitored.

Road users should be aware that if they exceed the speed limit on any section of the road network they may be subject to prosecution.

Laser Jamming

Friday, Oct 14, 2011
Speed Detection Officers across Devon and Cornwall have now been trained to recognise when a laser jammer is being used. A spokesperson said "We know that these devices are being bought for the express purpose of interfering with Police speed detection equipment. Our Operators are now fully trained to detect and record any instances. This information may then be used to prosecute the offender for either obstruction or perverting the course of justice."

 

Speeding biker Exeter

Biker disqualified for 74mph in a 30mph

Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011
A biker has appeared in Court charged with riding at excessive speed. The rider, Paul Gardner 41 from Exeter, was captured travelling at 74mph along Topsham Road, Exeter, an area restricted to a 30mph limit. He was disqualified for 91 days, fined £200 with £60 costs and £15 victim surcharge – a total of £275.

Perverting the Course of Public Justice - West Country Tonight

Monday, Sept 12, 2011

Statement from the Partnership

Wednesday, March 02, 2011
'Having agreed their budgets, our partners have confirmed funding which will allow the partnership to continue existing operations throughout next year...

Statement re Government Funding

Wednesday, December 01, 2010
As a result of the Government’s decision to make an in-year saving to the Road Safety Grants to Devon, Plymouth, Cornwall and Torbay councils, the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership Board has requested the project team to prepare a revised plan for the remainder of the financial year 2010-11 with a 26% reduction in budget.

More speeding drivers to be educated in Devon and Cornwall

Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Speeding drivers in Devon and Cornwall are being given greater opportunities to attend educational courses as an alternative to prosecution from today.

Tax Payers Alliance Report PDF

Challenge to Posting of Notice of Intended Prosecution

A trial has taken place, at Exeter Magistrates Court, which challenged the posting and procedures involved in a speeding offence.

Guilty of failing to identify driver

A motorist, Lee Abbey from Birmingham, has been found guilty of failing to give information regarding the driver’s identity in relation to a speeding offence. Mr Abbey’s vehicle was captured on the A30 Launceston By Pass eastbound junction with Trebursey travelling at 87mph. Mr Abbey failed to identify the driver at the time of the offence and subsequently received 6 penalty points, one month disqualification, £220 fine, £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

8 month prison sentence

Today, 12/3/10, Tracey Anne Stevens, 41 from Plymouth, appeared in Plymouth Crown Court and was found guilty of perverting the course of justice in relation to a red traffic light offence at the junction of Outland Road and Peverell Park Road, Plymouth on 17/9/09. She received an 8 month prison sentence.

Double speeding fines for millionaire couple

Monday, March 01, 2010, 10:00
A MILLIONAIRE entrepreneur and his interior designer wife have clocked up a fine of more than £1,000 and 12 licence points between them for failing to identify which one of them was driving their speeding Land Rover.

Pleaded guilty to the charge of perverting

Today, 17/2/10 at Plymouth Crown Court, Nigel Roger Williams, 44 from Torquay, pleaded guilty to the charge of perverting the course of justice in relation to a speeding offence.

Perverting the course of public justice

Peter John MARSHALL born 25/05/54 of Hayle in Cornwall today, 14/12/09, pleaded guilty at Plymouth Crown Court and was sentenced for the offence of perverting the course of public justice.  He was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment suspended for 2years, 160 hours unpaid work, supervision order for 12 months and costs of £1300 to be paid within 6 months.

Three counts of Perverting the Course of Justice

On 13/11/09, John Richardson, 75 from Budleigh Salterton, Exeter, appeared at Plymouth Crown Court charged with three counts of Perverting the Course of Justice.

Response to Conservative Party announcement on Safety Camera Partnerships 06/10/09

We understand through the media and from the Conservative Party’s website that today the shadow transport secretary, Theresa Villiers, is “to announce a radical plan to improve road safety and end the relentless expansion of fixed speed cameras.”

Guilty plea as ‘expert’ opinion withdrawn’

A COMPANY finance director was today handed a hefty fine after he admitted travelling at 102mph on a road in Devon.

Failing to Identify Driver Costs Motorist £250 and 6 Penalty Points

On 14/5/09, Robyn COAD aged 21 yrs from Brixham, pleaded guilty to the offence of Failing to Identify the Driver of her vehicle contrary to sec 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Spoof Website i-database.co.uk

It has been brought to our attention that a spoof website is currently being promoted by email, it claims drivers have been detected speeding and that they can view their details on line by entering their registration ...

Partners respond to Community Concerns over Determined Speeding Behaviour (07/11/08)

As a result of complaints from residents in and around the Outland Road area a stretch of this road was recently subject to mobile speed enforcement.

Speed Detection on the Torpoint Twisties (09/10/08)

On Sunday September 7th 2008 a speed detection operation was carried out on the A374 Torpoint to Trerulefoot using marked and unmarked vehicles...

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