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Road Safety Act 2006


3.The Act makes provision for a range of road safety matters:

Drink driving

4.With regard to drink driving the Act enables the Secretary of State to require the worst offenders to re-take the driving test. It prevents those offenders at highest risk of re-offending from driving pending medical enquiries and it amends the current drink drive rehabilitation scheme and introduces an experimental scheme for alcohol ignition interlocks.


5.The Act provides for graduated fixed penalties for speeding and increases the range of penalty points available for those offences. The fitting to or use of a vehicle carrying speed assessment equipment detection devices will be prohibited by means of regulations and a regulation-making power is given to the Secretary of State to enable him to grant exemptions from speed limits and to make provision for training courses in the driving of vehicles at high speeds.

New Offences

6.The Act introduces new offences of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving; causing death by driving whilst unlicensed, disqualified, or uninsured; and keeping a vehicle that does not meet insurance requirements.

Penalties and enforcement

7.The Act increases the maximum penalties for various road traffic offences and provides for the graduation of fixed penalties for offences and in circumstances specified by order, which will match the punishment to the severity of the offence. Provision is made to prevent drivers who do not have a satisfactory address from escaping punishment in Great Britain, by requiring them to pay an on-the-spot deposit where an offence is committed. To improve enforcement of road traffic legislation, the Act extends the use of retraining courses to offenders convicted of speeding and careless driving, and confers new enforcement powers on vehicle examiners.

Driver training

8.The Act enables the current "one-size-fits-all" scheme for regulating car driving instructors to be replaced with a new power to introduce schemes targeted to meet the needs of individual sectors e.g. lorries, buses, off-road and fleet driving. It contains mechanisms to make sure the public has access to information about the performance of individual instructors, their qualifications and services and introduces more flexible powers to extend the user-pays principle to all forms of testing and assessment.

Driver fatigue

9.To help prevent fatigue related accidents, the Act allows for a pilot of motorway rest areas similar to French "aires".

Driver and vehicle licensing

10.A number of provisions in the Act contribute to enforcement of road traffic laws through changes to the driver and vehicle licensing systems. These include a power to disclose to foreign authorities driver and vehicle data to combat driving licence and vehicle crime, the mandatory recording of various particulars (mileage, date of birth) on the vehicle register to help prevent "clocking" fraud and the extension of the current registration scheme for number plate suppliers from England and Wales to the rest of the United Kingdom.

Motor Insurance

11.The Act has a number of measures aimed at reducing the current levels of uninsured driving. These include the creation of a new offence of being the registered keeper of a vehicle the use of which is not insured; powers for the Secretary of State to issue fixed penalty notices, and in appropriate cases powers to seize and dispose of uninsured vehicles.

Other measures

12.The Act also contains several other measures intended to contribute to the overall programme of improving safety on our roads. These include powers to pay road safety grants to local authorities so that innovative road safety projects can continue to be developed; a regulation-making power to enable the Secretary of State to make provision for surplus income from safety camera enforcement to be used by public authorities for road safety purposes; and measures to improve the regulation of the transport of radioactive material.

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