Speeding fines cash to victims

Chairman of the Mereside Tenants and Residents Association John Raine.
Chairman of the Mereside Tenants and Residents Association John Raine.
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MONEY raised from speeding fines are to be pumped back into the community to help victims of reckless driving.

In a shake-up of the way fines are paid, fixed penalty notices could rise from £60 to £100, while offenders who go to court to challenge speeding tickets could pay up to £120.

The cash will then be given to the highways authority who will hand it out to those affected by irresponsible drivers.

John Raine, chairman of Mereside Tenants and Residents Association, is campaigning for more speed deterrents to be put in place on his estate because he says new 20mph speed limits are unenforceable.

Mr Raine reckons the introduction of a 20mph zone in Mereside has not worked because people avoid the roads and believes new fines will only work if speeding motorists can be caught.

He said: “We can put a fine at £2,000, but if we don’t catch them what’s the point? The fine’s there as a threat and it’s alright on main roads when they catch someone doing more than 70mph, but I can’t see it working if the speed doesn’t reach that.”

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Mr Raine also says the proposal of more money going to those injured in a crash is scant consolation for the trauma victims have suffered.

He added: “If someone is injured and they have a life of hardship and misery for the rest of their lives because some idiot decides to do 60 or 70mph in a 30 zone, money is besides the point.

“Maybe it would make life a little easier, but I don’t think any amount of money would be suitable.”

As part of the same proposals, thousands of victims with minor injuries will no longer be eligible for compensation.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for streets and transport at Blackpool Council, said: “It is very important we tackle casualties of speeding.

“If the money is going to go back into assisting the victims of accidents, we have to welcome that.”

A Gazette poll saw almost 12,000 people vote against new limits as it was revealed large parts of Marton were set to be made 20mph, after campaigns against new restrictions in Fleetwood and Preesall.

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