Oxfordshire council granted new powers to fine motorists
New powers have been given to 12 councils in England, including Oxfordshire. This means that motorists could be fined for offences that were once only issued by UK police forces.
Since applications opened in May 2022, 14 councils have applied for powers to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) to drivers who offend in their areas. As well as areas such as Durham and Luton, Oxfordshire has also gained its authority as of February 2023.
The shift in power means that the councils who’ve been granted permission will now be able to enforce ‘moving traffic offences’. These include: incorrectly driving in a bus lane, Stopping in a yellow box junction, Illegal U-turns, going the wrong way in a one-way street and more.
This is a major turning point as these have historically only been the responsibility of the police. Fines for these offences typically cost up to £70 outside London, and up to £130 in London, but are halved if paid within 14 days.
For councils who’ve been granted powers, they can now also issue a PCN. These fines range from £20 for lower level penalties that are paid quickly, up to £105 for late payment of higher level penalties.
If motorists find themselves with a fine for any of these, they could appeal if they think it’s been issued unfairly or incorrectly. Confused.com’s challenge checklist can help motorists work out what to do if they feel that they need to appeal a PCN.
According to data gathered by Confused.com, each council has requested to monitor particular areas for moving traffic offences. Oxfordshire County Council has chosen to monitor School pedestrian-only zones.
Louise Thomas, Confused.com car insurance expert, comments: “As councils in England are granted powers to issue fines for moving traffic offences, the hope is that road safety will improve, and police force workloads will be supported.
“But in order to improve road safety, councils will be monitoring moving traffic offences with a close lens. Although it’s expected that councils will give warnings prior to issuing monetary fines, this doesn’t mean that drivers should take the risk and commit offences. Drivers could get a fine of up to £105 for a moving traffic offence.
“Our research found that more than 1 in 4 (26%) motorists are driving more carefully than usual to avoid these fines. While the cost of living is so high, driving safer and being aware of the latest changes are just some ways to avoid extra costs. But, if motorists do face a fine that they think is unfair, our checklist to challenge a fine can help to guide them through the appeals process.”
- ^ Oxfordshire Stagecoach bus timetables to change for Easter bank holiday (www.oxfordshirelive.co.uk)