30 January 2024
Vara backs legislation supporting drivers

Shailesh Vara MP is co-sponsoring a 10-Minute-Rule Bill tabled by his Parliamentary colleague, Kit Malthouse MP, who was previously Minister for Crime and Policing.

The Road Traffic and Street Works Bill seeks to address three issues, including the enforcement of low-level speeding offences and the way that roadworks are carried out on A roads.

Currently, those caught speeding up to 30 miles per hour in a 20-mile zone are given the choice of having penalty points put on their licence or attending a speed awareness course when they commit their first offence, but on subsequent occasions they automatically receive penalty points.

However, the Bill would ensure that drivers only recieve speed awareness courses as a penalty at this speed range, rather than having penalty points for second and subsequent breaches.

Moreover, Local Authorities have the power to fine drivers caught for non-speeding traffic offences, such as being caught in a yellow box junction or accidentally turning left or right when it is prohibited.

The Bill proposes that motorists caught in such circumstances should receive a warning letter in the first instance, which would allow drivers to learn from their mistake. Thereafter, for second and subsequent offences of the same kind, fines would be permissible, as is the case at present.

The Bill also deals with roadworks taking place on A roads, which are typically left unattended, often for many weeks. The Bill requires that there should at all times be at least one employee present at the works.

This would ensure that there is always someone working on the site, and if necessary, able to help with the traffic and congestion that occurs. It would also act as a powerful incentive to contractors to complete the works much sooner.

Following the presentation of the Bill in Parliament, Mr Vara said:

“I am very pleased to be supporting this Bill which is on the side of drivers.

“The current penalties for speeding up to 30 miles per hour in a 20-mile zone, where someone can end up receiving penalty points for driving at 24 miles per hour, is felt by many people to be disproportionate to the offence.

“It is also long overdue for contractors doing works on A roads to be incentivised to complete the repairs quickly, rather than leaving them unattended for weeks on end, causing much misery to drivers and their passengers.”