Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Senior Wiltshire Police officer backs on-the-spot fines plan
A SENIOR police officer has come out in support of recent changes to road regulations.
Last week, police were given the power to fine careless drivers for a number of offences, including tailgating and lane-hogging.
Sgt Barrie Card, the manager of the Serious Collision Investigation Team at Wiltshire Police, has said he believes the power to issue on-the-spot fines will help to improve safety on the roads.
He said: “I think that hitting the driver harder in the wallet or purse by increasing the monetary fine will have the impact of acting as a greater deterrent, particularly as the increase is being well publicised in the media, ensuring that drivers are aware of the changes.
“On that basis the change in the law will make the roads safer and I hope that drivers will now give more thought to how they drive.”
Sgt Card also believes the new system will help to reduce the pressure on the court system. Many offences would previously have to be dealt with through the magistrates courts but can now be handled at the roadside.
One of the big concerns raised about the new regulations are how effectively they can be enforced.
Sgt Card said while it is unlikely patrols will go out specifically to look for offenders, officers will be vigilant.
“Ultimately our objective is to make the roads of Wiltshire as safe as we possibly can and we strive to achieve this objective,” he said.
“I do not foresee that road policing officers will go on patrol actively seeking to look for drivers who lane hog or tailgate, but if they should come across drivers who drive in such a manner and their driving falls below the standard of a careful and competent driver, or causes inconvenience to other road users, they may now deal with it at the roadside by way of fixed penalty notice.”
The police force has been hit with cuts in recent times and critics of the changes believe the police will not have the necessary resources.
However, Sgt Card disputes this claim.
He said: “As with many public sector authorities, Wiltshire police has needed to streamline certain processes to meet budgetary cuts, due to the current economic situation and there is ongoing change and restructuring taking place to ensure that we meet the demands placed upon the organisation, including policing our roads, in the future.
“The residents and road users of Wiltshire can rest assured that 24/7 365 days of the year, there are dedicated professional patrol officers out on our roads network dealing with incidents and motorists, striving to make our roads as safe as they can be.”
Comments are closed on this article.