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Tougher roads laws welcomed by experts
5:43pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Bury
DRIVING experts have backed new laws aimed at making Bury’s roads safer.
Laws that came into force last week mean motorists who drive too close to the car in front or who hog the middle lane on motorways can get £100 on-the-spot fines and three penalty points on their licence.
Previously, they would have had to go to court — a lengthy process that can be costly to the taxpayer and stressful for the driver.
In another change, people punished by officers at the roadside for using a phone at the wheel or for not wearing a seatbelt will now be fined £100 rather than £60.
In some cases, drivers will be able to choose between a fine and a driving awareness course.
Alan Healey, a test examiner and member of the Bury Group of Advanced Motorists, said: “These changes are to be welcomed.
“There are a lot of drivers out there who don’t know, and never learned, how to drive properly on a motorway.
“They think the middle lane is for fast cars and the outside lane is for even faster cars, when really the middle lane is for vehicles making progress within the speed limit.
“Abusing those lanes can cause all sorts of problems, so anything the police can do to cut down on it is good.”
He added: “Upping the fine for not wearing a seatbelt and using phones will deter a lot of people, but the most important thing is that these changes get publicity so we can bring about a culture change among drivers.”
Chief Inspector Rachel Buckle, of Greater Manchester’s road policing unit, said: “We are committed to improving the safety of the county’s roads for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“We all know only too well the consequences of careless driving and this change to legislation is just another tactic we will use as part of our ongoing enforcement to make sharing the roads a safer experience for everyone.”
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