Most Common Motoring Offences
Are you one of the 2.7 million UK drivers who have points on their driving licence? Recent figures released by the DVLA shows that we collectively have over 10.6 million points on our driving licences. If you’re in Halifax, you’re more likely to have points on your licence than anywhere else in the UK as 9.62% of drivers in the Yorkshire town have points. At the other end of the scale, drivers in Canterbury are the best-behaved UK motorists, with only 3.72% having points. Drivers who do have endorsements on their driving licence have an average of four each. There are some driving offences which are more common than others though, so what is most likely to land you in trouble with the law?
It’s perhaps unsurprising that the most common reason why people have points on their licence is because they’ve been driving too fast. Speeding is coded on your driving licence as SP30, SP40 or SP50, depending on the type of road you were caught speeding on. Usually, if you’re caught speeding within a few miles of the limit you won’t have to go to court and the Police will give the option of a fixed penalty instead. You pay your fine and get three points on your licence for a period of four years. The one thing to remember is to tell your insurer, as any points on your driving licence can raise the premium costs.
One of the most serious road traffic offences is failing a breath test. Despite the huge public information campaign to inform about the dangers of drink driving, 100,000 people are caught drink driving each year. Any drink driving conviction results in between 3 and 11 points on your licence, depending on the circumstances of the offence. Many offences result in a total driving ban for a set period, and in the most serious cases, a jail sentence. Anyone convicted of drink driving will have a criminal record and will have to declare this on job applications, as well as paying a substantially higher amount for insurance once they get their licence back.
Using Your Mobile Phone
We all know that we shouldn’t even touch our mobile phones while driving, but lots of us still do. The penalty for using a mobile phone has recently got a lot more severe, with a fixed penalty fine of £200 and 6 points on your licence. If you’ve only just passed your test then it’s even worse news, as 6 points within 2 years of passing your test you lose your licence completely and have to take your driving test again.
Car and Documentation Defects
If you’re driving around without road tax, MOT or insurance, you’re running the risk of being stopped every time you go out on the road. Most police vehicles are fitted with automatic number plate recognition software, which sounds an alarm every time an untaxed car, or one without a MOT drives past. The penalty for not having a MOT is both points on your licence, and a hefty fine too. If your car is also uninsured, or not taxed, then the range of offences could mean you tot up enough points to lose your licence immediately.
The only exception to the MOT rules is situations where you have a car with an expired MOT and need to drive to the test centre for the inspection. If you’re stopped on the way you’ll have to provide evidence of your appointment though – the police aren’t going to take your word for it and let you go on your way without points or a fine.