Fines rose by a third after Highway Code changes, says Home Office

THE number of fines issued to drivers have risen by a third after new Highway Code rules were introduced in 2022, it has been found.

Two years ago, changes to the code were made, which meant priority should be given to pedestrians, cyclists and horses, with drivers at the bottom of a ‘hierarchy of road users’.

Since the changes were introduced, Home Office data showed there has been a rise in fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued to drivers.

New figures show the number of FPNs soared by a third in the first year. And as a result, FPNs issued to offenders almost doubled in 2022.

The hierarchy ensures those who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

The updated rules also included information on new safe passing distances, giving more space to pedestrians, horses and cyclists.

And the Home Office data from 2022 showed FPNs issued to drivers for ‘neglect of traffic signs and directions and of pedestrian rights’ increased from 78,900 in 2021, to 105,500 a year later, a rise of 33.8%.

Furthermore, road casualties throughout 2022 increased by 7% on the previous year, with 30% of total pedestrian deaths occurring at junctions.

Another change to the Highway Code rules closed a loophole used by drivers using their mobile devices while behind the wheel.

Further analysis of the 2022 data showed that 37,900 FPNs were issued over mobile phone usage – an increase of 93%.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.