Many people rely on their cars. Over the years, they have indeed become safer, more efficient, greener, and quieter. Despite this, motorists seem to face a minefield of potential traps and penalties, making their lives difficult. 

It’s time to rebalance the system in favour of the driver — and I’ve brought forward a Bill with three modest measures.

First, I propose that anybody caught speeding between 20mph and 30mph should not receive penalty points. Instead, they would be required to attend a speed awareness course. Multiple offences would result in multiple courses.

Here in Hampshire, we have some 20mph speed limits in our villages and more are coming. There’s no doubt they are making our roads safer, but many drivers are being disproportionately punished for straying over the limit. Receiving three penalty points and a fine for doing 24mph in a 20mph zone seems unfair, not to mention the higher insurance premiums. 

Evaluations show that speed awareness courses are significantly more effective in preventing reoffending than points and a fine, so if our objective is to improve road safety, it would be better to put people through courses. 

Secondly, if a driver strays into a bus lane, stops momentarily in a yellow box, or commits a non-speeding offence captured on camera for the first time, they should receive a warning letter, rather than a fine. Issuing a warning letter to a first-time erring driver would recognise that most will have made a genuine error, will learn their lesson, and won’t make the same mistake again. It embraces the British sense of giving people the benefit of the doubt. 

Finally, many of us will have been impacted by roadworks, lane closures and temporary traffic lights. A lot of the time, drivers have to endure congestion and delays, despite there being not a soul in sight. 

My simple proposal is that no roadworks on an A road can ever be left unattended. Someone must always be on hand to deal with problems, speak to the public, alert authorities to traffic issues and manage the site. This would provide an incentive for works to be completed swiftly. 

These are my sensible measures to make life easier for the motorist. The Bill has passed its first reading, and I’ll keep you updated.