- UK courts to get really serious about speeding
- Penalty system is based on weekly income
- SA’s R500 fine ‘a blip on bank account’ for some
LONDON, England – Britain is set to launch a new system of tougher speeding fines based not only on recorded speed but also on the perpetrator’s personal income.
Simply, the richer you are the more you pay – a system already in use in other European countries and, The Corner believes, the most sensible way to impose financial penalties. It’s something South Africa should be looking at, too – a R500 fine for many people in this country barely shows as a blip on the bank account, for others it is a disaster.
The traffic courts in South Africa are the source of more “inequality”, perhaps, than any other current or already-removed systems.
ONCE THERE WERE NO SPEED LIMITS
The UK’s Sentencing Council has announced that speeding fines for the most serious offences in England and Wales will rise by as much as half: a driver caught at 101mph (162.5km/h) or above on a motorway could face a fine of up to 150% of hisher weekly income.
The British freeway system has a maximum speed limit of 70mph (113km/h), introduced back in the 1960’s when the first divided motorways were opened there. At that time there was NO speed limit for the then new superroads. Today, only SOME stretches of the German autobahn are still unlimited in Europe.
The current fine in the UK is capped at 100% of weekly income to to a maximum of £1000 (about R16 500) or £2500 (R41 250) for motorway infringements. The change could take that figure to more than R60 000!
GEM (a British road safety organisation) officer Neil Worth said the higher penalties sent the right message to drivers about the dangers of driving too fast.
‘PLAY YOUR PART IN ROAD SAFETY’
“Illegal or inappropriate speed remains a significant road safety problem,” he said. “If more people complied with speed limits there would be fewer deaths and injuries on our roads; it’s as simple as that.
“We welcome the increase in fines – we know the enforcement of speed limits plays a vital role in road safety.
“As drivers and riders, we are all responsible for the speeds we choose… nobody can tell us to break the speed limit. We urge every driver and rider to take that responsibility seriously and to play their part in making our roads safer.”
To which The Corner says: “Amen!”