DCSIMG

New laws alter UK motorists’ driving habits

Although fewer have changed approach in Scotland than rest of UK. Picture: Jane Barlow

Although fewer have changed approach in Scotland than rest of UK. Picture: Jane Barlow

  • by PETER WOODMAN
 

ALMOST a third of motorists have modified their on-the-road habits in the 12 months since new careless driving fines were introduced, according to an AA/Populus survey.

But while 29 per cent have altered their behaviour, as many as 74 per cent say they have not noticed a change in other drivers’ habits.

The new measures have allowed police to issue a fixed penalty notice for less serious examples of careless driving, such as tailgating and middle-lane hogging.

But the survey, involving 16,606 drivers, showed that only 12 per cent had seen fewer examples of tailgating than a year ago, with only 11 per cent seeing less lane-hogging.

Drivers in the north west of England have changed their habit the most (32 per cent) and those in Scotland the least (26 per cent)

As many as 82 per cent said visible policing was the only way to change driver behaviour, but there was a big split across the ages with this falling to just 66 per cent of drivers aged 18-24 and rising to 85 per cent of those over 65.

AA roads policy head Paul Watters said: “Careless driving has been an offence since the 1980s, but it was hoped that giving police the power to fine people for less serious examples of it would encourage drivers to change their behaviour, without clogging up the courts.

“These results show that enforcement must be a priority if these green shoots of progress are to be maintained. Tailgating, middle-lane hogging and using a mobile phone at the wheel are the top pet hates of drivers.”

 

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