Speeding penalties set to soar

By Caroline Dunne

The government is to increase the severity of penalties relating to driving offences, as part of a series of sweeping reforms to magistrates’ powers. The maximum fine for speeding on a motorway is to be quadrupled to £10,000, while fines for road traffic offences such as using a mobile phone at the wheel, ignoring red traffic lights or breaking the speed limit on dual carriageways will be increased from £1,000 to £4,000. Magistrates will also have the power to impose unlimited fines for more serious offences, such as careless driving or driving without insurance.

Jeremy Wright, the justice minister, stated: ‘Financial penalties set at the right level can be an effective way of punishing criminals and deterring them from further offending. Magistrates are the cornerstone of our justice system and these changes will provide them with greater powers to deal with the day-to-day offences that impact their local communities.’

New legislation for the higher fines has been laid out in Parliament, and a Ministry of Justice spokesman said it would be the first change to the penalty structure since 1991…

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