Driving lesson

Councils will get new powers to issue driving fines

Transfer of police powers to entrust broader control of traffic offenses to local authorities

From June 1, legislation relating to “traffic offenses on the move” was amended to allow authorities to apply to take over certain police powers.

Register to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

Until now, London councils were the only ones in England able to issue Penalty Notices (PCNs) for issues such as failing to obey traffic signs or blocking junctions.

However, under amendments to the Traffic Management Act 2004, authorities outside the capital can now apply to the Secretary of State for Transport to be designated as the local ‘enforcement authority’.

Town halls will be able to fine drivers who obstruct intersections

This gives them the power to impose fines ranging from £20 to £105, depending on the seriousness of the offense and how quickly a driver pays the PCN.

The change in authority is intended to ease pressure on police forces and make it easier for councils to enforce traffic rules.

It allows them to issue fines to drivers who block yellow intersections, drive on cycle lanes, or ignore road instructions such as no entry or no left/right turns.

Announcing the planned change last year, Transport Minister Baroness Vere said it would give local authorities the right tools to “manage roads in the way that best suits local needs”.

It’s unclear how many councils might run for power, but the government appears to be prepared for a large number of nominations. She indicated that depending on the initial absorption of powers, it may be necessary to issue the designation orders which transfer power in installments.

The RAC said that while councils need powers to stop repeated breaches of the rules, poorly planned or enforced rules, particularly around joins, could result in “countless” unfair and unnecessary fines being issued.

The organisation’s road policy officer, Nicholas Lyes, said: ‘It is absolutely crucial that yellow junctions are enforced fairly and as things stand this may not be the case, which means that many drivers will be treated poorly and lose financially as a result. .”

There is currently no legal requirement for boards to meet the basic design criteria for yellow box junctions – which define the size and visibility of markings.

Mr Lyes said: ‘We have written to the Department for Transport asking them to update the guidance to make it clear to local authorities what the minimum standard for the design and condition of a front box junction should be to start the application, but they are adamant. the current guidelines are sufficient.

“We fear that failure to update the guidelines to include lessons learned from over 15 years of enforcement in London will lead to countless wrongful fines, an end to unnecessary stress for drivers who feel they have been treated unfairly and thousands wasted. council hours investigate calls.