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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 04:15 
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Police stop over 5,000 drivers for lane hogging and tailgating
17 Mar, 2014 4:06pm by Joe Finnerty
Photo -Policeman and motorist

Exclusive figures reveal impact of new careless driving laws after six months

Traffic cops have pulled over more than 5,000 motorists under new laws to curb lane hogging and tailgating.

Auto Express submitted Freedom of Information requests to all 45 forces to see how many they’d stopped and why, and can reveal 5,472 drivers have been stopped since 16 August, when the new powers came into force.

The laws allow police to issue on-the-spot fines and licence points to drivers for careless driving such as lane hogging, tailgaiting or wheelspins. Drivers can also be dealt with by way of an educational course, similar to the drink-driving scheme offered to cut the length of a driving ban.

The exclusive figures show Police Scotland issued the most, with 1,454, although it covers a larger area than many forces. In second place was Nottinghamshire. Many forces were unable to tell us exactly why drivers had been stopped – they could only split them between those pulled over for driving without due care and attention and inconsiderate driving.

However, several forces did break it down. Out of these 600 specific offences, there were 154 lane hoggers – the most (48) in Thames Valley. Undertaking offences were recorded 84 times, as were 46 tailgaters. Drivers doing things like wheelspins or handbrake turns accounted for 143 offences – with 42 of these recorded in Lancashire.

Over the past six months, police also witnessed a host of other offences that fall under the new legislation, including accelerating through a puddle or mounting the kerb.

Some forces don’t issue fixed penalty notices, dealing with cases by traffic offence reports and re-education. But five – Northumbria, Durham, Dyfed-Powys, South Wales and Cleveland – aren’t stopping inconsiderate drivers at all as they don’t have the facilities to offer the education course.

Our figures are the first sign of how frequently the new laws are being applied, so we asked key industry bodies for their feedback.

The Department for Transport declined to comment as its statistics work in 12-month cycles. It said any impact on road safety would be difficult to gauge.

But RAC Foundation director Prof Stephen Glaister said: “The encouraging thing is that this new law is being used by police. The long-term test is whether accident rates fall.”

The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ Neil Greig added: “We had doubts about whether it would become a numbers game, but the figures suggest the power’s being used in the right way.”

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, national roads policing lead at the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “Officers have found the new procedures helpful as they seek to raise standards of driving and keep road users safe.”

Top 10 police forces
Police Scotland 1,454
Nottinghamshire 977
Met Police 544
Humberside 389
West Yorkshire 272
Essex 242
Lancashire 194
Greater Manchester 184
Surrey 162
Hampshire 144

Auto Express 1,363
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Be nice to know how many police it took to book this number and how many hours this process took.
Whilst good to know that some efforts have been made to book people, the courses need to prove that they improve people's driving, and that the courses are consistent and meet proper standards (yet to be set!).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:39 
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Am I the only one who is deeply uncomfortable with the link between those police forces who have the facility to offer courses and those police forces that are booking people? :o

I'm obviously glad that something is being done about something OTHER than speed limit transgressions, but would be much happier if there wasn't a direct financial incentive to do so!

Not entirely sure about some of the other "offences" though. Wheelspin????! "accelerating" through a puddle?? (is "braking" through a puddle or "driving at constant speed" through a puddle OK)?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 13:28 
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You've got support, Mole. I am very suspicious about the introduction of "courses" , ultimately who gets the "fees" and who runs the courses. Then there's the monitoring of the content etc of the courses. Do those who sit in get a fee ,or is it done out of love of road safety.

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