Violations of speed limits on motorways may see a maximum penalty increase from £2,500 to £10,000. Meanwhile, being drunk or disorderly in public may cost offenders up to £4,000.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright, who proposed the laws, said: “Magistrates are the cornerstone of our justice system and these changes will provide them with greater powers to deal with the day-to-day offences that impact their local communities.”

He also said increased penalties would serve to deter people from violating the law.

However, BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman noted: “The court must also take into account the financial circumstances of the offender – in other words, their ability to pay.

“So someone on benefits caught hurtling down the motorway at excessive speed is not going to be given a £10,000 fine that they have no realistic prospect of paying.”

Parliament will be debating legislation for fine increases next Tuesday.

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