Fleet News

Drivers illegally swapping points

Almost half a million motorists in the UK have illegally swapped their speeding penalty points with friends or family to avoid being banned, new research reveals.

It found that seven-and-a-half million drivers would ask their partners to take on their points, particularly if it would mean them avoiding a ban.

Nine and half million motorists are also prepared to take on someone else’s points if they were on the verge of losing their licence.

Commissioned by insurance company Churchill, the study of almost 1,700 drivers aimed to look at how far motorists will go to beat the increasing number of speed cameras cropping up across the UK.

It found that 495,000 drivers, about 1.5% of Britain’s 35 million drivers, have already swapped points with someone to avoid having too many on their licence.

A fifth of respondents said they would not be able to work if they lost their licence.

A Churchill spokesman said: “This research shows the lengths that some drivers will go to in order to stay on the roads, despite committing driving offences such as speeding.

“Trying to escape convictions by swapping points with another person is highly illegal and can lead to prosecution.”

The research also reveals that half of all drivers think that having more points on a driving licence doesn’t make a motorist a bad driver. Two-thirds of respondents also welcome government proposals to introduce graduated penalty points, which would mean drivers caught a little over the speed limit receiving two points and those caught at higher speeds getting three or more points.

Last year, bosses at AA Business Services encouraged fleets to make it clear to drivers that points swapping is illegal and carries serious penalties.

The company’s research found that the problem was particularly prevalent with vans or pool cars where there is no designated driver (Fleet News, August 2006).

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