highway code penalties

  • By jky11 on at 11:58am 11 September 2013
  • Posted in: General
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Is it possible to get legislation changed to make fines particularly for road offences to be made proportional ie a % of income instead of fixed penalty as rich lawbreakers will see no penalty in a £60 or £100 fine but a 10% fine of monthly income will everybody take notice, the Swiss I think do this


Probably, but the main problem at the moment is enforcement. A change in the amount any offender is fined won't mean that more offenders are caught or prosecuted than they currently are.

I'm not sure there would be any point anyway - do people only stick to the rules they can't financially afford to break? I expect this isn't the case (although if there is evidence to suggest otherwise I'd like to see it!) and that most people obey the law because they're decent people, and that people break laws they'll get away with the vast majority of the time that aren't 'real' crimes anyway.

Tighten prosecution and detection to the current punishments first.

  • By Stily1 at 7:58am 12 September 2013

Alas, increased enfocement costs money so is unliely to happen (believe me, I do agree with you, but in reality, it's a pipe dream IMHO).

And of course people mostly pay attention to the laws that will hit them in the pocketbook and ignore those that won't. Sure, the UK is spoiled by having a *generally* law-abiding culture, but still.....

I agree about the costs of enforcement, but I seriously doubt the thought that financial punishment stops people breaking the law. For instance, cycling on the pavement could cost you £500, as could 'seat belt offences'. I've cycled on pavements (usually where the path is split with a cycle lane on one side), but never driven without a seatbelt. I don't think I'm more likely to drive without MOT (£1,000) than without insurance (£2,500) despite it being 'cheaper.'

  • By Stily1 at 7:46am 13 September 2013

I'd be quite surprised if footpath pedalling could result in a £500 fine (maybe it's true, I just don't know the reference, and it would seem way out of scale to the offence) but you are right, it's hardly enforced so the theoretical price tag isn't much of a disincentive by itself.

Of course, if one is going to wish for increased enforcement, that will (and should) apply equally to red light blasters, pavement pedalers, cross-walk creepers, ear-bud wearers, no-lights cruisers, and any other of the long list of bicyclists' all too common anti-social behaviors.

Citation: https://www.gov.uk/highway-code-penalties/penalty-table

It's a 'maximum' penalty, but I'd be surprised if it's ever been handed down.


I disagree that enforcement should  apply equally, from the current point in time, at least. Enforce and stop the offences that cause the most harm first. There also needs to be discretion too - cycling slowly on the pavement where there are no pedestrians is different from cycling fast on a busy pavement. One is much more likely to cause harm to others, and should be strongly enforced.

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