Despite pre-election claims to be on the side of motorists, the Coalition Government are aiming to scoop an estimated £100 million annual windfall, paid for by British drivers. The move is seen by some as an attempt for the Government to fill a £300 million shortfall in fuel duty created by responsible driving and great engine efficiency. Other potential measures include a £20 rise in the cost of car tax.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning commented:
“We need to make sure that the penalties for a wide range of fixed penalty motoring offences are set at reasonable levels, consistent with the potentially severe consequences of some infringements.”
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation commented:
“We understand there are good reasons for increasing the level of fines, but why has there not been any inflation-linked rises for the past 12 years? A sudden hike of 50% will only encourage sceptics to see a link between a cash-strapped government and a move which could bring in significantly more money.”
Claire Armstrong of the campaign group, Safespeed, condemned the rises:
“It appears to show nothing more than milking the motorist and lining the pockets of the ever growing pockets of the speed camera industry. In no way will this improve road safety.”
The only silver lining is that the Government will not allow local authorities to increase parking fines.