Councils Now Allowed To Fine Drivers For Traffic Offences

05th Apr 2022

What does this mean?

In January, Transport Minister Baroness Vere confirmed the handing over of enforcement powers for minor traffic violations to councils.

Councils across England will soon be able to fine drivers up to £70 for offences including blocking box junctions and ignoring road signs. Powers to charge drivers for “moving traffic offences” are currently held by police, but under regulations going through Parliament now, councils will be able to apply to take these on later this year. It will mean councils will be responsible for policing everything from driving in cycle lanes to ignoring no entry signs. The move will bring the whole country in line with London and Cardiff, with councils in these cities already enforcing these types of traffic violations.

The headlines:

  • The Government has been drawing up plans to extend enforcement for local authorities outside of London and Cardiff since last year.
  • With legislation in place, councils can apply to take powers from the police from December 2021.
  • MPs say enforcement should be transferred from under-resourced forces to improve safety and congestion.
  • Fines of up to £70 are to be issued for banned turns and driving in cycle lanes - discounts for early payments will be available.
  • Councils with applications already made to the Department for Transport (DfT) are expected to be given these powers from June.

How will this affect Pendragon Vehicle Management customers?

Our dedicated team is on hand to help our customers manage their fleet and administration, including fine handling. Any fines generated through our fleet and leasing customers local authorities, will still come through to Pendragon Vehicle Management (PVM) as the vehicle’s registered owner.

The current fines process will continue to stay the same, with all fines paid directly by PVM (with the sole exception of Police Prosecutions where we are legally required to provide driver/customer details to the issuing authority).

Once a fine has been received and settled by our fines team, our customers will receive an invoice for the cost of the fine, our administration fee and a copy of the fine for their records. They will also still have the opportunity to challenge fines with the issuing authority.

Enforcement power changes in more detail:

Currently, minor moving traffic violations committed outside the English and Welsh capital are enforced by the police. However, new enforcement powers mean all councils will be able to use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras located near potential offence locations to catch drivers in the act. Fines of up to £70 can be applied for a variety of minor traffic offences, though councils will be forced to offer discounts for PCNs that are paid early - usually within 14 days of being issued.

At the moment only councils in London and Cardiff have the authority to fine drivers for moving traffic offences, but for years, other local authorities have demanded the same powers to tackle problem drivers themselves rather than relying on overstretched police forces.

The Government is now implementing Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, which will allow all 300 councils in England to apply for the power. The expectation from the Government is that councils will be expected to use these powers to improve connectivity, boost active travel, and increase air quality by reducing congestion.

Councils will only be able to begin enforcement once given the green light by the Department for Transport, meaning those councils that have applications processed within the next month will be looking to be able to issue their first PCNs from June at the earliest.