Road users are at risk of on the spot penalties if they commit offences like tailgating or lane hogging. Changes in road laws now give the police the ability to deal with less serious road offences which aggravate other road users. This could work both ways for fleet drivers, who will either welcome improved road behaviour or tot up unwanted penalty points. Existing road penalties for most motoring offences, including using mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt, will rise to £100, the same amount incurred for non-motoring fixed penalties. Careless drivers will now incur penalties of £100 with an additional three license points, although the police have the option of offering educational training as an alternative. Serious offenders will face court action, with the opportunity of higher penalties. Road safety minister Stephen Hammond said: "Careless driving puts innocent people's lives at risk _ that is why we have made it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice for low level offending rather than taking these offenders to court. "We have also increased penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences." These changes have been made following public consultation with road safety groups and police forces. The Road Haulage Association has welcomed the new penalties: "This is good news for all road users. The UK road network is among the most congested in Europe,î said RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning. 'As traffic levels continue to rise, it is inevitable that there will be a corresponding increase in traffic incidents. Careless driving is a major cause of crashes and we hope that the new police powers will go a long way to reducing this situation." Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a daily basis," she said, "But sadly some drivers remain complacent about the risks and the law. "Bad driving causes deaths and life-changing injuries that tear families apart and affect whole communities. All drivers have a responsibility to ensure they aren't putting others at risk, and are helping to prevent these needless casualties." "They can do this by following simple principles, such as slowing down, giving the road their full attention, always belting up, and never driving impaired. We hope today's changes will help to improve driver attitudes and behaviour. But we are concerned penalties still aren't nearly high enough to deter all bad drivers and reflect the potentially appalling consequences of bad driving."