The government has introduced the Road Safety Act 2006.
The act aims to improve road safety and close legal loopholes.
The Road Safety Act has brought in new offences and imposed more stringent penalties for existing offences.
It’s important to understand the implications of the new Road Safety Act. Because if drivers are caught under the new act, the penalties could lead them to losing their licence. In the case of a key sales employee, this could have a severe impact on business profitability.
What new offences has the Road Safety Act 2006 introduced?
There are several new offences, but these are the key ones:
- Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving, which carries a custodial sentence of up to five years.
- Causing death by driving while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured, which carries a custodial sentence of up to two years.
- Being the registered keeper of an uninsured vehicle. Anyone found guilty faces a fixed penalty fine of £1000. The enforcement authorities also have the power to clamp and, in some cases, dispose of the uninsured vehicle.
- The banning of speed detection devices, such as radar detectors. GPS-based speed trap locators remain legal.
- All seatbelt-wearing offences are now subject to a £500 fine.
What is the penalty for illegal use of a handheld mobile phone while driving?
- Under the Road Safety Act 2006, illegal use of a handheld phone while driving carries a £60 fine and three licence points.
- Drivers whose conduct is deemed unsafe because of using a hand-held phone could face prosecution for dangerous driving. This carries a maximum two-year sentence.
Which other offences now carry stiffer penalties?
The main changes include:
- The maximum fine for careless and inconsiderate driving has risen from £2500 to £5000.
- Failing to stop when asked by the police now carries a maximum fine of £5000. Previously, it was £1000.
- A rise from three to six points for failing to provide information on the identity of a driver caught speeding by a camera.
What about speeding offences?
The Road Safety Act 2006 makes provision for the introduction of a sliding scale of penalties based on the severity of the speeding offence.
The government is currently considering what that sliding scale should be. One of the suggestions is a scale of two points for a minor speeding infringement and six points for a major infringement is one of the suggestions. However, no decision has been made yet.
What about drink driving?
Repeat offenders of drink-driving will be required to retake their driving test. Repeat offenders will be kept from driving until they have passed a medical examination.
The Road Safety Act also allows the future use of alcohol-sensitive ignition locks on repeat offenders