safety were today reintroduced to parliament.
Britain has one of the best road safety records in the world but the
seriously injured on our roads by 40 per cent by 2010 and numbers of
children by 50 per cent.
The Road Safety Bill continues the government's commitment to drive
down casualties on the road. Measures outlined in the bill include:
Powers for a more flexible system of fixed penalties to match the
punishment to the severity of the offence. The Department for
Transport has consulted on how a system of graduated speeding
penalties might be introduced.
Ensuring that foreign drivers cannot escape punishment in Great
Britain through new powers to issue fixed penalty notices for
endorsable offences and to take deposits from offenders who cannot
provide a verifiable address.
Improving compliance through increased penalties for various
safety-related road traffic offences such as driving whilst using a
hand held mobile phone, careless and inconsiderate driving and using
a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
Tackling drink driving through changes to improve take up of the
Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme and powers to provide for an
experimental alcohol ignition interlock scheme. It would also ensure
that the most persistent offenders, disqualified for 24 months or
longer, must retake their driving test.
Clarifying which vehicles can break signed speed limits in emergency
situations, such as the police and those carrying donor organs and
what driver training would be required.
Dealing with poor driving standards by allowing the courts to make
increased use of retraining courses for serious offenders and through
improvements to driving instruction and testing procedures.
Tackling fatigue related accidents by piloting motorway picnic areas.
Making various administrative changes to the licensing regime to
ensure better security and accuracy of the Driving Licence and
prevent 'clocking' fraud in vehicles.
Transport secretary Alistair Darling said:
'These measures will tackle bad and dangerous driving whilst making
penalties fairer with graduated penalties for speeding.
The UK has one of the best records in the world - the number of road
casualties is at its lowest for nearly fifty years - but still more
needs to be done and these plans will undoubtedly improve safety and
further reduce deaths and injuries on our roads.'
1.The bill will be read in parliament for the first time today and is
now subject to parliamentary scrutiny.
2. Full outline of Road Safety Bill proposals:
1. Powers to allow offenders disqualified for 24 months or more to
retake the driving test, this would catch most high blood alcohol
content and all repeat drink drive offenders.
2. Closure of a loophole whereby high risk offenders have cover to
drive before completing a DVLA medical test. The period for which a
record of an offence under Section 7A of the Road Traffic Act 1988
(failing to allow laboratory analysis of a specimen obtained whilst
medically unable to consent) can be held by DVLA, will be brought
into line with other drink drive offences ie from 4 to 11 years.
3. Various administrative changes to improve court arrangements and
flexible payment of fees to improve the take up of the Drink Drive
Rehabilitation Scheme and provide for an experimental alcohol
ignition interlock scheme.
4. Introduction of variable fixed penalties for speeding - changing
the range of penalty points from 3-6 to 2-6.
5. Banning the carriage or use of safety camera detectors and
6. Giving the secretary of state power to grant exemptions from speed
limits and other traffic regulations will be introduced - for example
organ donor vehicles.
Other Bad Driving
7. Extending the use of retraining courses to offenders convicted of
speeding and careless driving.
8. Increasing the maximum penalties for several safety related
offences: careless driving (fine£2,500 to£5,000) using vehicle in
dangerous condition (mandatory disqualify for 2nd offence) failing to
give identity of driver (3 to 6 points) mobile phone/proper control
(£30 to be made endorseable: 3 points£60) rationalising fines for
children not wearing seatbelts (£500 fine for front and rear -
currently£200 in rear and£500 in front)
Driver Training and Testing
9. Amendments to the current 'one-size-fits-all' scheme for car
driving instructors with an ability to introduce schemes targeted to
meet the needs of individual sectors eg lorries, buses, off-road
and fleet driving.
10. Allowing the public access to information about the performance
of individual instructors, their qualifications and their services.
11. Introduction of more flexible powers to extend the user-pays
principle to all forms of test and assessment eg charge test
applicants a fee to rearrange a test appointment.
12. To pilot motorway rest areas similar to French 'aires' as an
alternative to traditional service areas.
Support for Enforcement
There are several areas of the bill that will contribute to
enforcement of various road traffic laws, some deal with licensing
and insurance, others empower enforcement agencies to deal more
flexibly with individual situations and extend the use of fixed
13. Various changes to licensing arrangements for drivers to allow
for administrative charges to be levied in various circumstances
(eg renewal of a photocard licence) and provision for the recall of
old format (ie paper) licences.
14. Legislation to enable the international exchange of driver and
vehicle data to combat driving licence and vehicle crime.
15. Legislation to allow mandatory recording of various particulars
(mileage, date of birth etc.) on the vehicle register to improve
accuracy of records and help prevent 'clocking' fraud; and to extend
the current registration scheme for number plate suppliers from
England and Wales to the rest of the UK and make improvements to its
16. Introduction of a system of graduated fixed penalties for
roadworthiness offences and to give adequate enforcement powers to
enforcement agents. A deposit scheme and powers to issue fixed
penalties to non-GB licence holders will also be introduced to ensure
that foreign drivers do not evade punishment by leaving the country
before a summons is served.
Wider Road Safety Issues
The bill also contains various other wider measures that contribute
to the overall programme of improving safety on our roads.
17. Powers will be taken to ensure that innovative road safety
projects can continue to be developed and built upon with grant from
18. Powers will be taken to regulate the conversion of vehicles to
run on alternative fuels eg LPG, to ensure conversions are carried
out to the required safety and environmental standards.
19. Improvements will be made to the enforcing the transport of
radioactive materials and the regulation of alternative fuel
20. A potential loophole in the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act
1998 will be closed, preventing minicabs in London from evading the
current licensing regime.
3. The Home Office Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
contains measures contained in the last Road Safety Bill legislation
(introduced to parliament on 30 November 2004) to introduce
evidential roadside breath testing and better target uninsured
vehicles through the use of automatic number plate recognition
technology and data from insurers.