The great middle class myth of Boy Racers, a stereotype guaranteed to win votes via urban myth, where, one would believe, that this plague upon us is likely to end in some "Tell Laura I love Her" hyperreal disaster.
I'm not saying there are not large groups of people who meet up in vastly decorated vehicles and drive too fast, too dangerously and risk lives on the road. But to target an entire legislative motion at them is ludicrous.
On Spot Fines
Prosecutors are generally overwhelmed with traffic incident processing, therefore, in principle, the issue makes sense. Remove the paperwork, free up the work load for other cases.
But practically, what is the likely result of this proposal?
I am very aware we have parking issues in my community, but parking wardens are unable to issue fines without a witness and evidence.
Therefore, I predict, within the first moments of fines being issued, drivers will demand evidence of the offence. The fine will be delayed and forced to court. And thus, no money or time will be saved.
Now let's look at the apparent offence it's self.
The Road Traffic Act 1978 lists in Section 2;
If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.”
The BBC argues that the proposed on-the-spot-fines will result in "safer roads". However, where the offence is an offence and will result in one of the following;
The reduction to a fine would infact undermine the offence it's self.
- "a £2,500; and
- mandatory 3 to 9 penalty points; and
- discretionary disqualification."
We should observe that Careless Driving can and does cause death in a number of cases, and as a result there is an offence of Death By Careless Driving.
Proposals by the Government undermine the offence of Death By Careless Driving and are likely to outrage campaigners for tougher regulation on drivers. Issuing on-the-spot-fines immediately degrades the offence and could, in theory, develop into people seeing it as less serious and therefore legitimate to drive without reasonable care.
Keeping the Tories Sweet
It is a clear policy to placate right wing voters who live with delusions of fear of crime and little or no experience of crime.
The practicalities mean people who do not challenge will end up with fines and people who do will end up without.
At the same time it is likely to increase danger on the roads and potentially risk lives as people grow more confident with less serious sanctions.
Throw it out!