Police officers will now be able to issue £100 fines and levy three points on-the-spot rather than take offenders through the courts.

Fines for using a mobile telephone whilst driving or not wearing a seatbelt have also increased from £60 to £100.

Diverting offenders away from courts is unlikely to provide significant deterrent

David Robinson, Chair of RoadPeace North East and a Thompsons solicitor specialising in dealing with serious and fatal road traffic accidents, said: “Increasing fines may be perceived as taking road safety more seriously but these won't really hit offenders in the pocket as they should when the impact of using a mobile whilst driving is so massively distracting and therefore dangerous.

“Dealing with offences of careless driving at the road side looks like a quick and effective way to deal with offences but it will ultimately lead to a build up of bad drivers remaining on our roads who have never had the humiliation and inconvenience of going before the courts to make them think twice. Sadly I fear this is more about the Government wanting to reduce court costs rather than seeking to truly promote road safety.”