Laura Sharman 17 May 2013

Special courts set up to tackle minor traffic offences

Minor traffic offences are to be dealt with in special courts to speed up the justice system and free up more time for investigating serious cases.

The Government is urging local areas to work with the judiciary to set up courts to deal with low-level motoring offences such as speeding and document offences.

Around half a million summary motoring cases are heard every year, with minor offences often taking six months to completion. The new procedure would only be implemented where there is a guilty plea or where the case against a defendant is not contested.

Justice minister Damian Green said: ‘Enforcing traffic laws is hugely important for road safety, and saving lives. However, these cases take nearly six months on average from offence to completion, despite the fact that over 90% of cases result in a guilty plead or are proved in absence – this is simply unacceptable.

‘The justice system must respond more quickly and effectively to the needs of victims, witnesses and local communities and these dedicated courts will enable magistrates to better organise their work and drive greater efficiency.’

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