Dedicated traffic courts will be established to deal with low-level road traffic offences and free up the courts to deal with more ‘serious and contested’ cases, the government announced today.

The new courts follow a pilot in nine areas. The Ministry of Justice said it is in discussion with judges to determine how the courts can set up, and it expects the courts to be operational by April 2014.

The special traffic courts will only deal with guilty pleas or those where the case against a defendant is not contested.

The MoJ said that there are around half a million summary motoring cases heard every year including speeding, traffic light and document offences.

Although these offences are relatively minor they often take longer from offence to completion than much more serious cases.

Justice minister Damian Green said: ‘Enforcing traffic laws is hugely important for road safety, and saving lives. However these cases take nearly six months on average from offence to completion, despite the fact that over 90% of cases result in a guilty plea or are proved in absence – this is simply unacceptable.’

He added: ‘The justice system must respond more quickly and effectively to the needs of victims, witnesses and local communities and these dedicated courts will enable magistrates to better organise their work and drive greater efficiency.’

The Association of Chief Police Officers lead for criminal justice, chief constable Chris Eyre said: ‘We have implemented this new procedure to traffic cases with great success in nine police forces - radically simplifying and speeding up the process.’

He noted: ‘Effective first hearings have significantly reduced the amount of adjournments and a single court can deal with up to 160 cases a day.’