HC Deb 10 December 1980 vol 995 cc914-5
7. Mr. Iain Mills

asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on his policy towards changes to the present system of totting-up for traffic offences.

Mr. Fowler

I intend to include provisions in the forthcoming Transport Bill, which will replace the present totting-up system with a system based on points. This change has been recommended by the review body which the Government set up last year and has been supported by the motoring organisations and many others. I believe that it will be generally welcomed as a significant reform of our motoring laws in line with the commitment I made in Opposition.

Mr. Mills

I thank my right hon. Friend for his excellent reply. Is he aware that he will be supported by many millions of motorists? Will he assure me that there will be an opportunity for right hon. and hon. Members to debate the points allocated to each specific penalty?

Mr. Fowler

Yes, I give that assurance. The points system will be based on a distinction between the seriousness of the offence or otherwise. For example, reckless driving might appear at one end, and construction and use regulations at the other. There will be a debate on the exact total that each offence should be given.

Mr. Waller

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the idea of extending a fixed-penalty system to cover a wider range of road traffic offences has been delayed, not dropped?

Mr. Fowler

An extension of the fixed-penalty system—I refer to the ticket system as opposed to on-the-spot fines—is still being considered by the working party, which includes the Department of Transport and the Home Office. As we made such rapid progress on totting up, we thought it right to make the swiftest progress possible on totting-up legislation.