Fleet News

Fleets warned of point-swapping scam

MILLIONS of company car drivers would ask a relative or friend to take on their speeding penalty points if they were facing a ban, a new study suggests.

And a similar number would also take points from a partner or relative to prevent them being banned from driving.

The company behind the findings warns that a black market could be emerging in the trading of speed camera penalty points.

Insurance broker Swinton, which carried out the study, estimates that 3.7 million motorists – 12% of all drivers – would attempt to offload their points on a friend or family member.

It is based on the results of a survey carried out by the company on more than 1,150 drivers.

Swinton director of marketing Nick Bowyer said: ‘This is potentially a serious problem which needs to be addressed.’

Drivers were asked the question based on the assumption that they or their friends already had six points on their licence and that the camera was unable to identify the driver.

It found that the figure for potential penalty swapping rises to 20% for the under-24s, falling to 4% for the over-55s. A total of 8% of over-55s would consider taking on someone else’s points.

The fact that 93% of those studied said they would not drive away from a minor incident such as hitting a vehicle’s bumper while reversing show how points trading is viewed as less serious than other motoring offences, the company said.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed campaign, said of the findings: ‘The overuse of speed cameras is turning road safety into a joke with tragic consequences.’

AA Business Services previously warned that the problem was particularly prevalent with vans or pool cars where there is no designated driver (Fleet News, August 10).

Its head of risk management solution, Paul Homes, said: ‘This is a worrying trend. Businesses must make it clear to employees that points swapping is illegal and carries serious penalties.’

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