Motorists face higher fines - and increased costs

  • @simonnread

Careless drivers are set to face on-the-spot fines from next month. The Department for Transport announced that police will be given powers from July to issue fixed-penalty notices.

Drivers will face the fines for offences such as tailgating, middle-lane hogging and using a mobile phone while driving. Meanwhile, the standard fine for not wearing a seat belt or using a hand-held mobile phone will increase from £60 to £100.

While a crackdown on drivers who are making our roads more dangerous is obviously welcomed, any motorists with bad habits could face fines, which may result in them facing higher insurance premiums.

Scott Kelly, of, said: "There's a considerable difference between bad habits behind the wheel and illegal ones. While smoking or eating on the road may just be ill-advised activities, finishing off a report, sending emails or making a call while driving could land you in financial and legal trouble."

The site reckons convictions for using a handset at the wheel or failing to comply at traffic light signals could each add around £90 to a 25-year-old driver's annual premium. Someone who gets caught for both could end up having to pay around £230 more for their car insurance.

"Trying to multitask while driving is dangerous and, if you're caught could lead to a driving ban, which could affect your employment," said Mr Kelly. "It's ironic that people who can't switch off from work face the losing their job because of it."