Traffic courts to go nationwide

THE country will follow in Hampshire’s lead by having dedicated courts for traffic offences.

Justice Minister Damian Green has said that all areas should have a dedicated traffic court within the next six months.

Hampshire has a specialised traffic court at Aldershot, Basingstoke and Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

The local area decides on how often motoring offences are heard, depending on the needs of the region.

Subject to judicial agreement to list all low-level traffic cases together, dedicated traffic courts are being established across the country.

The move will mean low-level traffic offences – such as speeding, traffic-light and document offences – can all be dealt with at one local magistrates’ court.

In a dedicated traffic court, up to 100 cases can be dealt with in a single session which reduces unnecessary delays and allows local magistrates’ courts to focus on more serious offences.

These courts have now been successfully established in 28 areas across the country. The Government vision is for dedicated traffic courts in all 42 police force areas.

Justice Minister Damian Green said: “The safety of the general public is paramount and we take road safety very seriously, which is why we have recently increased the sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving to five years’ imprisonment.

“However, low-level traffic offences such as speeding can take up to six months from offence to completion which is a huge drain on the smooth running of the criminal justice system, and takes focus away from more serious offences. This is simply unacceptable.

“We want all areas to have a dedicated traffic court, and we are on track to reach this target.

Traffic courts from West Yorkshire to Sussex have shown how effective and efficient this process can be.”


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