Clause 16 - Penalty points

Part of Road Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:14 pm on 25th January 2005.

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Photo of Mr David Jamieson Mr David Jamieson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport 4:14 pm, 25th January 2005

We discussed clause 16 when we dealt with clauses 2 and 3, so we have been pretty well round the houses on the issues. As I said at the time, we would have to put forward a proposition. There would have to be a consultation on that proposition and it would then have to come before the House in the form of a positive resolution statutory instrument before any of the measures could be introduced. As I was at pains to say last Thursday, and as I will repeat now, we have listened carefully to the debate on the issue in Committee and outside, and we shall be mindful of that as we take matters forward.

The law fixes the penalty imposed on an offender. If driving at a certain speed attracted, say, four, five or six points on a person's licence, there would be no discretion. If the person decided to contest that and go to court instead, the magistrate would have some discretion over the fine up to the maximum level permitted for that offence. Generally, the law sets out, as guidance to magistrates, obligatory amounts of penalty points that are imposed for an offence. We would need to have further discussions if we had a   proposition to change that. The proposal would then go before the House again. It would be then be converted into guidance for courts, and it would probably be appropriate to look at any guidance that may be given to magistrates. I hope that that is helpful.