The most annoying thing for any motorist is to be fined and/or have points put on their licence. This happens a lot, and so I was interested to know what the most common offences were. Luckily our friends over at Keeping Your Licence were happy to help, providing the following information. But before you read on, have a think about which offences you'd expect to see below. Some you'll get right, but others may surprise you! Enjoy the piece, and we look forward to hearing more on the legal side of motoring.
Top 5 Driving Offences in England and Wales
Based on the most recent statistics issued by the DVLA, the top 5 driving offences in England and Wales account for nearly 77% of all endorsements issued by courts.
So what are the top 5?
#5 Driving Whilst Under the Influence of Drink or Drugs
At around 8% of motoring offences, drink and drug driving is still a serious concern. There has been a lot of progress over recent years, with over 20,000 fewer convictions in 2013 since 2009.
New drug driving laws coming in March might have an effect on these figures too, as police have more power to prosecute drivers under the influence of illegal and some over-the-counter drugs.
#4 Miscellaneous Motoring Offences
With around 9% of motoring convictions, this bracket covers a range of activities, so it’s perhaps not a surprise that these more general offences feature quite highly.
Miscellaneous motoring penalties range from 2-11 points and include offences such as driving with uncorrected defective eyesight, leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position, and motor racing on the highway.
#3 Using a Motor Vehicle Uninsured Against 3rd Party Risks
Around 16% of total convictions are for those driving without insurance. As a legal minimum, you must have 3rd party insurance to drive on a public highway- that is, insurance to cover others involved in an accident but not yourself.
This number equates to over a 100,000 convictions, which is a worrying number considering the implications of being involved in an accident without insurance, with penalties of up to 8 points, a £5,000 fine, and a driving ban.
#2 Speed Limit Offences
At around 19% of all motoring convictions, this figure covers goods and passenger vehicles, not just domestic speeding offences. So you be surprised that speed limit offences are not at the number one spot.
With the number of fixed cameras and mobile road safety vehicles used, it’s not surprising that from 2009-2013 over 115,000 convictions each year were for speeding offence, almost a fifth of all convictions.
#1 Licence, Insurance and Record Keeping Offences
With around 25% of the total motoring convictions, the number one spot highlights some of the motoring offences we often forget to think about.
Whilst this also applies also to heavy goods and public service vehicle offences, it also highlights the importance of making sure that your licence details, and appropriate insurance details and records are in order.
This includes anything from regulations relating to road transport law for driving hours, to failure to notify the DVLA of a disability, with penalties of up to 6 endorsement points. This could be the difference between keeping and losing your licence.
Other offences often in the public eye but not making it into the top5 include:
· Driving Whilst Disqualified - 1.71%
· Careless Driving - 2.86%
· Use of Hand Held Mobile Phone Whilst Driving - 3.18%
*Latest information published by the Ministry of Justice, December 2013. Click here to see the published data.
This article was written by Neil Maycock on behalf of DFR Solicitors the UK’s leading car and van retailer.