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Motoring law: Friday welcomes the introduction of new 'careless driving' offences

New careless driving offences will come into force on Friday threatening on-the-spot fines and licence penalty points, reports the Daily Mail.

Government has reassessed driving offences and improved current legislation to include new careless driving offences.

Under this new law, drivers could be fined and given three points on their licence for remaining in the middle or outside lanes of a motorway and for tailgating other drivers. This change reflects and supports the Highway Code which clearly states that the middle and outside lanes are for overtaking only.

In addition, the Government has used this occasion to increase the cost of fines for irresponsible drivers. Under the new legislation, the offences of hogging lanes, tailgating and talking on a hand-held mobile phone will warrant penalty fines of £100, an increase from the current £60 fine.

Police have also been given the power to hand out on-the-spot fines and licence points when they have previously had to go through courts to penalise offending drivers.

In the case of an offence where there is no victim, the driver may now be offered a 'driver awareness course' as an alternative to receiving points on their licence and therefore inevitably increasing the price of their motor insurance. The cost of this course is around £100.

Demonstrated by a survey completed on behalf of the AA, almost 30% of drivers are at risk of facing such punishments having admitted to taking up middle and outside lanes and tailgating.

The AA has expressed their full support for the revised legislation and the new and improved penalties therein.

Speaking on the topic, Director of the AA Charitable Trust, commented: "We are pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers - tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle lane hogs...An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use."

The new legislation will come into effect on Friday 16 August.