Are Local Councils To Get More Powers To Fine Drivers?

Thu 23rd May 2019

Councils across the UK could be set to receive the ability to fine UK drivers due as police forces are too stretched to enforce traffic laws.
Though the Traffic Management Act 2004 does give councils powers to enforce parking and bus lane regulations, the local authorities very seldom enforce moving traffic violations.

Only London’s councils currently dish out penalties for moving traffic, with drivers fined up to £130 for stopping in a yellow box junction. Now The Transport Committee is calling on more local councils to be given the powers to implement the laws, which would increase revenues for councils and help to police the roads.

The move isn’t popular with driving organisations though, with the RAC claiming that councils will use the extra powers to tax motorists and that some junctions are set-up unfairly.
"Our research shows yellow box junctions are a very divisive issue with drivers,” said RAC spokesman, Simon Williams.
"While the majority are in favour of councils more widely being allowed to use cameras to catch offenders, there is a strong feeling that many junctions are not set up fairly which leads to drivers having no choice but stop in them, whether that’s due to poor traffic light sequencing, poor design or being used in the wrong place.

"Box junctions can also heighten stress for drivers as those at the front of traffic lights often feel pressured to move on as a result of impatient drivers behind who don't realise they are being prevented from doing so by the presence of yellow lines.

"If the Government was to grant local authorities the same powers that are already being used in London and Cardiff, it's highly likely we would see a massive rise in the number of drivers being issued penalty charge notices.

"The RAC is generally supportive of local authorities having the power to enforce yellow box junctions because of the value of local knowledge, but has concerns that it could lead to local authorities being inconsistent in their application of road traffic law.

"There is also a risk that cash-strapped authorities may see it as a lucrative revenue stream."