£100 fixed penalty for careless driving paves way for public dashcam upload portal

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The introduction of a new fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £100 for careless driving paves the way for the PSNI to roll-out a portal to allow motorists upload footage of irresponsible driving.

Last month the ‘Journal’ reported how the PSNI were keen to develop the new system – based on Operation Snap in England and Wales – that will allow members of the public to upload dashcam footage of illegal driving to an online portal.

A green light for the project could not be given until a FPN for the offence of careless driving was introduced.

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This week the Department of Infrastructure announced a new £100 FPN and three penalty points has been introduced to help tackle careless driving in the North.

The introduction of a new £100 fixed penalty notice for careless driving paves the way for the development of an Operation Snap-style dashcam upload portal.The introduction of a new £100 fixed penalty notice for careless driving paves the way for the development of an Operation Snap-style dashcam upload portal.
The introduction of a new £100 fixed penalty notice for careless driving paves the way for the development of an Operation Snap-style dashcam upload portal.

Dr Chris Hughes, DfI Director for Road Safety said: “The introduction of a new fixed penalty for careless driving is an important intervention. It has the potential to make enforcement of this offence more effective and reduce the instances of careless driving in the future.

"It also sends a clear message to drivers that the risk of being caught and punished for a careless driving offence has now increased.

"A less bureaucratic system for lower level offending means police can spend less time preparing case files for court and more time on the road observing driving behaviours.”

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PSNI Chief Superintendent Sam Donaldson said: “We welcome the introduction of this new legislation which underlines our road safety messaging. Driving without care and attention, is one of the most significant causes of the most serious collisions in which people are killed and seriously injured on our roads.

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"Where appropriate, the new penalty will give drivers the opportunity to benefit from remedial training. The training will not only highlight the catastrophic impact that can result from careless driving, but critically, it will give drivers the opportunity to educate themselves and make our roads safer for everyone.”

In 2021, 486 people were sadly killed or seriously injured as a result of collisions on our roads where the cause has been attributed to a careless driving causation factor.

This reinforces the responsibility that we all have to drive carefully so that such life-changing and devastating consequences are avoided.

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The move by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is seen as an important road safety development as the new fixed penalty will be an additional enforcement tool, to assist police in tackling a major cause of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

The introduction of the FPN means the PSNI can now move ahead with plans to develop a dashcam upload model based on Operation Snap that it is estimated will cost £2,000 to set up and £3,500 a year to operate.

Last month the ‘Journal’ reported how the PSNI, in response to a FoI request, had stated: “PSNI can advise we do intend to introduce a scheme matching Operation Snap used by UK police forces. Research has been conducted with UK forces to establish how the scheme operates and best practice.

"Enquiries have also been made regarding the technology and training required to run the scheme.”

Progress on the new portal was dependant on the introduction of the new careless driving penalties which are now in place.