Drive for more traffic courts

Traffic courts with police-led prosecutions are to be rolled out across the country to speed up the process of dealing with low-level road traffic offences, Justice Minister Damian Green has confirmed.

The courts have been successfully trialled in Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Met Police, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and West Yorkshire. “Effective first hearings have significantly reduced the amount of adjournments and a single court can deal with up to 160 cases a day,” said ACPO lead for criminal justice, Chief Constable Chris Eyre.

On average, motoring cases can take almost six months from offence to completion, even though over 90% of cases result in a guilty plea or are proved in absence. The new procedures, the Minister said, will only be implemented when there is a guilty plea or where the case is not contested. The Government is now in talks with the judiciary about how the courts will be introduced across the country.