The House of Commons Transport Committee has just published its 2015/16 report (15th March 2016). It highlights concerns about the need to maintain the number of specialist road traffic police officers that has been declining. The report also echoes the need for a likelihood for offenders to be apprehended if there is to be confidence in the enforcement regime and if driver educational campaigns are to be convincing. It concludes that falling road crime rates are not evidence of fewer traffic offences being committed.
The report supports the Government targeting the ‘Fatal 4’ offences that are: drink driving, speeding, use of a mobile whilst driving, and failure to wear a seat belt. It also raises issues about other areas such as fixed penalties, EU cross-border enforcement and vulnerable road users.
In the area of freight, the Committee recommends that:
- more should be done to target non-GB vehicles to reduce prohibitions through targeting and ‘DVSA random checks should not slide’;
- there should be an immediate review into the penalties for offences committed whilst driving an HGV to review if current levels are effective (the basis for targeting this particular area is unclear, though the Committee cites serious outcomes where accidents do occur for this type of vehicle. It is already the case that the Government is soon likely to confirm increases in penalty endorsements for mobile phone offences from 3 to 6 points for HGVs – to 4 points for other drivers).
The full report can be found here.