Hundreds of drivers fined under new tailgating and lane-hogging powers

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Hundreds of on-the-spot fines have been handed out to motorists for offences such as lane-hogging, tailgating and dangerous overtaking on the region’s roads since police were given new powers last year.

West Yorkshire Police has handed out more than 400 penalty fines for careless or inconsiderate driving since the new laws were introduced in August, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act,

The new powers to issue fixed penalties for careless driving, along with a £100 fine and three points on the driver’s licence, were announced by the Government to make it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers.

The changes give police greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences, freeing them from resource-intensive court processes.

Officers who previously might have ignored low-level offences or let the driver off with a warning have been told to consider a fixed penalty and offer the driver a chance to go on educational training instead of having their licence endorsed.

Between August 16 and June 11, West Yorkshire Police issued 247 on-the-spot fines for driving without due care and attention, and 182 for driving without reasonable consideration.

Inspector Joanne Field, of West Yorkshire Police’s roads policing unit, which covers roads including the M62 and M1, said: “We rely on and respect our officers to use their discretion appropriately, and deal with the circumstances before them at the time of the incident.

“There are a number of reasons why officers will issue fixed penalty notices at the roadside. These include a driver’s offending history or the severity of the offence.”