Fixed penalty change for Scotland gets (small) thumbs-up


The Scottish Government will take forward plans to allow fixed penalty notices to be issued to suspected road traffic offenders following a consultation in which the majority of 26 respondents supported the move.

The consultation was carried out by the Department for Transport (DfT) at the Scottish Government’s request between March and May this year.

It proposed that section 54 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act be amended to allow the police, traffic wardens and DVSA vehicle examiners to issue on-the-spot fixed penalty notices to suspected offenders of road traffic offences committed in Scotland.


The current process in Scotland allows fixed penalty notices to be fixed to vehicles or issued to suspected offenders by way of conditional offer, which if not paid, must be reported to the prosecutor by the relevant authority for any further action to be taken.

This differs from the process elsewhere, where fixed penalty notices can be enforced without the need to raise summary criminal proceedings in court.

There were 26 responses to the consultation including Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the Scottish Justices Association, Justice of the Peace, Law Society of Scotland, road safety groups, insurers, various motor groups, and members of the public. Only one local authority and one councillor responded.

The majority of responses supported the proposal. Some respondents were strongly in favour and a minority strongly against. ‘A number of responses included pertinent and practical suggestions on how the proposal could be strengthened to support implementation in practice.’

The Scottish Government will now consider issues raised by respondents, produce an impact assessment and engage with the DfT and the Office of the Secretary Of State for Scotland to reach a decision on the way forward.

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