Wales

Road rage poll: 51% questioned in Wales were abused

  • 29 October 2013
  • From the section Wales

More than half of drivers in Wales say they have been the victims of road rage, a survey has found.

A poll for the BBC Wales' Week In, Week Out found 51% of motorists had been abused by other road users.

The UK government has introduced a £100 fixed penalty to try to tackle offences like tailgating and lane hogging - driving which can lead to road rage.

But some police officials have questioned if officers have enough resources to enforce the new penalties.

The new powers introduced in August were heralded as a way of tackling road rage.

But the number of traffic officers has fallen in Wales more than anywhere else in the UK, with a 31% reduction over four years compared to the British average of 12%, according to the road safety charity Brake.

Meanwhile, the four Welsh police forces are yet to issue any fixed penalty notices for careless driving since the new powers were introduced in August but they say the delay is merely administrative.

The Home Office admits police budgets have been cut in a difficult economic situation and it wants police forces to "seek ways to improve and continually challenge themselves".

Stephen Trigg, chairman of the South Wales Police Federation - which represents police officers - said: "Whilst I wouldn't criticise it as an initiative, you have to take that against the back-drop in the reduction of police officers, especially in the number of road policing officers.

"I have to ask the question, are the police fully able to engage with that initiative and make it a success because of the lack of numbers?"

Mr Trigg added: "Police services have been really stripped down.

"The fat has been stripped off the bone and now we're scraping the bone. I think the government need to wake up to that."

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael also has reservations.

"It's all very well having a good idea and I support the idea of this initiative," he said.

"The government is right to create the possibility of early intervention but this government doesn't bear any regard to the cost of doing that work."

The poll for BBC Wales spoke to 750 adults about whether they had been victims of road rage.

Week In, Week Out will be shown on BBC One Wales at 22:35 GMT on Tuesday 29 October.

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