Councils are in talks with the government, to get the right to fine motorists for a host of offences, from wandering into bus lanes to stopping in the yellow box at junctions. The government is said to be sympathetic to their arguments, raising concerns that this could be the new cash cow for councils struggling to make ends meet.
So what will happen?
A report in the Daily Mail revealed that around 20 councils are in talks with the Department for Transport - through the Local Government Association. They want the right to be able to fine motorists for a variety of driving offences. These include spot fines for using bus or cycle lanes, making illegal turns, going the wrong way down a one way street, ignoring No Entry signs or stopping in yellow boxes at junctions.
The councils in question include Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Reading, Salford, Sheffield and Southampton.
The good news
There's a good chance that they will win the right, after-all, councils in London have been doing it for the last eight years. The Local Government Association has defended the move, saying that it is a vital step to crack down on inconsiderate motorists who are holding up traffic and endangering the lives of other drivers and cyclists.
A spokesman from the AA told AOL that "It is a positive in terms of managing traffic. We need these things managed properly to keep cities flowing."
The potential disaster
However, he added: "The problem is that from experience this is dodgy territory for local authorities. They don't do it sensibly, they do it by volume, they don't fix bad junctions, they make no allowances for minor errors, and are seen to be revenue-grabbing."
In London last year these sorts of offences generated 800,000 fines (according to the newspaper). That's revenue of £50 million - coming directly from the pockets of the hard-pressed motorist.
For councils, catching motorists and squeezing cash from them is likely to be more of a priority than it is for police forces (sidetracked by things like crime), which means life is likely to get more expensive for motorists. They are likely to use a combination of CCTV and new traffic wardens to catch motorists
It means that an honest mistake, such as turning into the wrong street, or making an error over which lanes you are allowed in at a junction could be swiftly and harshly punished. The AA spokesperson added: "You could argue that someone who lives in a particular area and regularly flouts the rules should be made to adhere to the regulations and fined if they fail. However, it's another matter if someone who is a stranger to a town innocently misses a sign."
The adds that the computer systems ought to make it possible for local authorities to use their discretion. However, they haven't been keen to do so in the past - instead preferring the 'big stick' approach.
Cars that will hold their value in 2013
How councils are planning on catching motorists out
The Porsche Cayenne caused a bit of a stir when it launched in 2002 as the luxury SUV signalled a fresh direction for the traditionally sporty brand.
The second generation 2010 diesel model has been found to retain a whopping 84.2% of its original value even after three years and 30,000 miles on the clock.
A new Cayenne diesel starts from an eye-watering £47,390, but based on CAP's calculations after three years the resale value is only likely to fall 15.8%– a loss of £7,488.
Next up is a more mainstream option if you want to battle depreciation.
The Toyota Land Cruiser V8 diesel SW is the second best vehicle to retain its value over a three-year stretch clocking up 30,000 miles.
CAP Automotive found that this 4x4 retained 72.4% of its original price on average.
So a new 2010 V8 diesel available from £32,145, would only drop in value by 27.6% leaving it worth around £23,273 today – a cash loss of £8,872.
The Porsche 911 has been around for over 50 years and still remains an iconic sports car as well as a great depreciation buster. The GT Coupé body style was found to retain 72.1% of its value over three years and 30,000 miles.
So a 2011 model that would have set you back a whopping £73,123 might only fall in value by 27.9% -a loss of £20,401, by 2014.
This environmentally friendly 4x4 got a reboot in 2010 and the second generation model is still popular today.
CAP Automotive found that this particular model retained 70.3% of its original value on average.
Prices start from £28,965 and if the research stands up you should only lose 29.7% or £8,603 of the value after three years and 30,000 miles.
This compact 4x4 is a family friendly crossover that has a very adaptable interior- with the ability to remove the back seats fully.
According to CAP's research the Yeti retains 69.9% of its value over three years and 30,000 miles.
New it is the most affordable of the top ten with a starting price of £15,235 and after three years on the clock it is likely to only fall in value by 30.1%, which amounts to £4,585.
Despite its reliability track record, Land Rovers remain appealing to car buyers for its off-road ability, comfort and style.
The second generation of Land Rover's Discovery 4 can keep you in the money according to CAP's research. The make and model was found to retain 69.2% of its original value.
Prices start from £32,695 so after three years with 30,000 miles built up you might find the vehicle experiences a 30.8% drop at resale, leaving you £10,000 out of pocket.
The sporty medium-sized SUV can run circles round its load-lugging rivals and was found to hold onto 69.1% of its original value by CAP Automotive.
New the 2008-2012 range was available from £26,600, so with an average fall of 30.9% found for models with three years on the clock, buyers can expect to lose just over £8,000.
The Kia Sportage holds onto its original value well too, retaining 68.2% on average.
It's another affordable crossover with the looks of a 4x4 but less off-road ability.
The improved 2010 Sportage is available from £17,495 so a fall of 31.8% would leave you £5,560 out of pocket after three years at the time of resale.
The Mercedes-Benz Viano is the only MPV to make the list.
New the 2004-2010 Viano's were available from £35,760, but after three years and 30,000 miles the value of this range tends to drop by 33.8% - a loss of over £12,000.
Even though it's quite obscure and was only available in limited numbers with left-hand drive, the Corvette Z06 Coupé was found to retain 65.5% of its list price after three years on the road.
Available new it would have cost from £45,850 so after three years owners are likely to experience a 34.5% drop where around £15,818 would be wiped off the value.