News Local Report: MPs to lower new fines for traffic offences before approving them

Report: MPs to lower new fines for traffic offences before approving them

MPs support increased penalties for abandoning the scene of an accident but will whittle down proposed steep increases for traffic offences, Phileleftheros reported on Wednesday.

It said that the House Transport Committee had completed its discussion of seven new bills introducing stiffer penalties for traffic offences such as speeding and using a mobile phone while driving as part of efforts to stem the bloodshed on the road.

According to the newspaper, MPs agree with the principle but have reservations as to the extent of the increase. A final decision on the actual penalties is expected to be taken by each party before the bills go to the plenary for approval later this month or early in November.

MPs have indicated that fines should be proportionate to income levels. They argue that fines of €200 are excessive and are counter-proposing €120 to  €150.

Police have long called for tougher fines which they say will work as a deterrent.

Phileleftheros said that MPs agree with a bill to tow away vehicles which obstruct or are parked on bends of main arteries and for these to remain impounded until all the fines and the towing costs are paid.

They also agree with a bill introducing tougher penalties for abandoning the scene of an accident.

A bill which give police the right to impound a vehicle when a driver is found to be drunk or speeding also appears to enjoy the support of MPs.

The reservations focus on a stiff hike in fines for traffic offences such as speeding, not wearing a seat belt or helmet and illegal parking.

The government’s proposal is for fines for failure to wear a seat belt or helmet to rise from €85 to  €300 and 3 to 6 penalty points. The same penalties are proposed for using a mobile telephone while driving.

Jumping a red light would be punishable with a fine of €200, up from  €85 plus 3 to 6 penalty points, up from 2-4.

Parking in a disabled spot and on pavements will carry a €150 fine,  up from the current €85

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