Tough new driving penalties saluted

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 May 2011

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Archant

PLANS to bring in harsher penalties for careless drivers have been welcomed by the grandmother of a youngster knocked down and brain damaged on a busy Weston road.

Brendon Ford was crossing Marchfields Way in 2006 when he was hit by a speeding car. The 11-year-old sustained injuries to his leg, pelvis, liver, collar bone and skull and was left in a wheelchair following the collision.

A 22-year-old driver was convicted of careless driving shortly afterwards, but Brendon’s grandmother Carol Kibby believes if there are harsher penalties for drivers who take risks then that may prevent something so awful happening again.

And new measures that could be introduced across North Somerset as part of a national policy include:

■ New fixed penalty noticedof between £80-100 for careless driving.

■ A re-test for offenders before they regain their licence.

■ The seizure of vehicles belonging to the most dangerous offenders to keep them off the road.

■ Educational courses instead of points for more minor offences.

Carol said: “If they think they are going to lose their vehicle they may think twice about taking risks.

“I welcome these new measures as I believe it may stop motorists becoming a repeat offender.”

The plans, released by the Department for Transport, also show that film clips could be used during theory tests.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “We are determined to differentiate between wilfully reckless drivers and the law-abiding majority who sometimes make honest mistakes, or who have allowed their skills to deteriorate.

“We will focus relentlessly on cracking down on the really reckless few who are responsible for a disproportionately large number of accidents.”

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