Currently those receiving a fixed penalty notice for breaking the speed limit face three penalty points and a fine of £100 – potentially less than those caught littering from a car. Cash raised from the fines goes straight to the Government.
But Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, told the National Road Safety Conference in Brighton this week that she wanted to explore whether fines should be raised and a proportion of that money retained by local road safety partnerships.
It comes after a spike in the number of people killed and seriously injured in her force area. A total of 63 people lost their lives in 2017, 12 more than in 2016 when 51 people were killed. In 2015 there were 36 road deaths. Hundreds more each year are seriously injured.
Nationally 1,793 people lost their lives in road traffic collisions in 2017, a figure that has remained relatively unchanged since 2015. It is estimated that 96% of these deaths were down to human error.
“Far too many lives are being risked or ruined due to inconsiderate, dangerous drivers who have a blatant disregard for their own safety and that of others when they ignore the law,” Alison said.
“The money generated by fixed penalty fines and other motoring offences goes to HM Treasury – not to the police, councils or highways authorities whose job it is to keep our roads safe. I don’t think this is fair.
“Also, the level of fixed penalty notice fines for some offences is out of kilter with the harm caused. The penalty for those caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving doubled to a £200 fine and six points last year, and the maximum fine for those admitting littering from a car rose to £150, yet the fixed penalty charge for speeding remains at £100 and three points.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am calling for the fixed penalty fines for some traffic offences to be increased to act as a greater deterrent and, importantly, that this additional revenue is passed directly into local road safety measures with a priority given to enforcement.”
Members of the public are being asked to complete a survey comprising of three brief questions to help the PCC develop her policy.
The survey questions can be found here or via the PCC’s website at www.devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk.