Drivers set to be slapped with £70 fines for common error as councils given more power

From May 31, councils will be given more power to fine drivers

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Drivers could soon be slapped with £70 fines for making a very common mistake.

From May 31, councils will be given more power to fine drivers up to £70 for minor driving offences.

Currently, only police can hand out fines for the offences.

Such offences will include driving in cycle lanes, an error that could catch out many motorists.

Councils will be given more power to fine motorists from May 31
Councils will be given more power to fine motorists from May 31
Offences include driving in cycle lanes
Offences include driving in cycle lanes

Others include stopping in yellow box junctions and turning illegally in the road.

The Department of Transport believes that allowing councils to hand out the fines will allow a more punctual running of buses, while also helping to protect cyclists.

But the RAC fears that many drivers will be unfairly punished by the current system.

The RAC’s head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes said: "In the absence of definitive guidance on the design, maintenance and enforcement of box junctions there will be a high degree of confusion among drivers and local authorities.

"(It) could lead to an avalanche of penalty charge notices being wrongly issued and then having to be appealed.

"This will inevitably lead to an unnecessarily high number of appeals for local authorities to review, as well as some poor outcomes for drivers.

"We are worried that failing to update guidance to include the lessons learnt from more than 15 years of enforcement in London will lead to countless wrong fines being issued, no end of unnecessary stress for drivers who feel they have been unfairly treated and thousands of wasted council hours investigating appeals."