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Traffic Offences (Totting-up System)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th December 1980.

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Photo of Mr Iain Mills Mr Iain Mills , Meriden 12:00 am, 10th December 1980

asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on his policy towards changes to the present system of totting-up for traffic offences.

Photo of Mr Norman Fowler Mr Norman Fowler Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I intend to include provisions in the forthcoming Transport Bill, which will replace the present totting-up system with a system based on points. This change has been recommended by the review body which the Government set up last year and has been supported by the motoring organisations and many others. I believe that it will be generally welcomed as a significant reform of our motoring laws in line with the commitment I made in Opposition.

Photo of Mr Iain Mills Mr Iain Mills , Meriden

I thank my right hon. Friend for his excellent reply. Is he aware that he will be supported by many millions of motorists? Will he assure me that there will be an opportunity for right hon. and hon. Members to debate the points allocated to each specific penalty?

Photo of Mr Norman Fowler Mr Norman Fowler Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Yes, I give that assurance. The points system will be based on a distinction between the seriousness of the offence or otherwise. For example, reckless driving might appear at one end, and construction and use regulations at the other. There will be a debate on the exact total that each offence should be given.

Photo of Mr Gary Waller Mr Gary Waller , Brighouse and Spenborough

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the idea of extending a fixed-penalty system to cover a wider range of road traffic offences has been delayed, not dropped?

Photo of Mr Norman Fowler Mr Norman Fowler Minister of State (Department for Transport)

An extension of the fixed-penalty system—I refer to the ticket system as opposed to on-the-spot fines—is still being considered by the working party, which includes the Department of Transport and the Home Office. As we made such rapid progress on totting up, we thought it right to make the swiftest progress possible on totting-up legislation.