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On-spot fines for danger drivers

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A new Government strategy to make Britain's roads safer will mean that careless drivers could get on-the-spot fines from police.

The Department for Transport said that motorists who tailgate or undertake could face immediate fines, reportedly up to £100, instead of being taken to court.

It also said that it will launch a new crackdown on drug-driving, and the department will try to reduce loopholes that allow motorists to escape drink-driving charges.

The new rules will also require disqualified drivers to retrain and could have them take another test in order to regain their licence, while more serious offences may lead to courts seizing vehicles.

But in a written statement to MPs, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond will also announce a new approach to drivers who make genuine mistakes on the roads and extra help for those who have just passed their tests and need to keep improving their skills.

A wider range of retraining and education courses will be on offer for low-level offences.

Novice drivers will be able to take additional qualifications to reassure insurers that they are safe behind the wheel, in a bid to reverse the steep upward trend in car insurance premiums for less experienced motorists.

A source close to Mr Hammond said the new strategy represented a "sea change" from Labour's approach, which relied heavily on speed cameras and failed to differentiate between problem drivers and essentially safe motorists who make an honest mistake.

The new approach will target genuinely reckless drivers, rather than wasting police and court time by putting generally law-abiding motorists in the dock.

© Press Association 2011