Fleet News

Fines for company car drivers show sharp increase

Average speed cameras.

Businesses faced a sharp rise in motoring fines in 2016 as the number of penalties incurred by company car and van drivers rose 21% year-on-year, according to annual figures from Lex Autolease.

The research, compiled from 353,000 company vehicles in operation across the UK, revealed drivers racked up a £14 million bill last year, an increase of more than a quarter (26%) on 2015. The figure represents a steep rise from the £7m accrued in 2012.

Lex Autolease says a clampdown on bus lane infringements and illegal parking by local government is largely behind the rise.

The findings show the number of drivers caught by bus lane cameras rose by 27% last year compared with the previous 12 months, with the value of the fines rising by more than a third (37%) over the period.

The number of parking offences committed by company car drivers also increased, by more than a third (34%) in 2016. The cost for businesses rose by the same amount to £6m.

Tim Porter, managing director at Lex Autolease, said: “The local Government clampdown on ‘minor’ motoring offences is behind the increase, and UK businesses are footing the bill. There is now a greater need to take action to change driver behaviours, such as providing additional education and training. 

“Organisations can better understand how the increase in fines and penalties impacts their business by benchmarking their data against similar fleets.  Businesses can also look to put in place straight-forward driver policies and procedures to help reduce the risk and bring down the bill.”

A surge in receipts for the Dart charge – a congestion charge for the Dartford crossing – also made a significant contribution. The introduction of number plate recognition, which replaced the old system of paying at booths in 2014, saw collections rise 55% year-on year, costing UK firms £736,244 in the 12 months to December. The charge accounted for 14% of the total offences committed by company car drivers in 2016.

Despite the overall rise in the number and value of motoring fines, the figures reveal the frequency of more serious endorsable offences increased at a much slower rate last year. Penalties for speeding, using a mobile phone behind the wheel and dangerous driving rose by just five per cent in 2016 and accounted for just under a fifth of the total offences recorded.

In total, company drivers committed 40,647 more offences in 2016 than in 2015, bringing the overall figure to 238,833. 

Fine type

2016 incidents

% volume incr/decr

% value incr/decr

 

Volume

Value

2015 - 2016

2015 - 2016

Speeding*

45,865

£0

4.86%

N/A

Parking

85,272

£5,969,040

34.14%

34.14%

Congestion

14,533

£944,645

12.81%

12.80%

Bus lane

23,550

£1,530,750.00

26.65%

37.20%

Dart charge

35,312

£736,244.00

2.32%

55.16%

Other motoring offences **

34,301

£4,867,458.00

37.25%

15.00%

 

       

Total number of offences/fines incurred

238,833

£14,048,137

20.51%

26.45%

* Includes all endorsable offences such as dangerous driving, driving whilst on a mobile phone, etc. 

** Includes all non-endorsable “traffic” offences such as driving in a box junction or stopping on a red route. 

 



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Comments

  • anpr - 05/05/2017 11:53

    I feel this illustrates the undue emphasis on automated systems such as speed and ANPR cameras at the expense of traffic Police. The largest contributing factor to most RTCs has for the past few years been "driver distraction" (legal speak for using a phone) and not speeding, and yet there is little action taken to catch drivers using a phone. I don't excuse law-breaking but authorities are taking the easy option of using cameras, which only detect certain offences, and leaving the most dangerous element of driver behaviour almost unchallenged, proving that revenue, and not road safety is the focus.

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  • Edward Handley - 05/05/2017 13:05

    The huge increase in penalties for using bus lanes is interesting: Bus lanes are very different from other traffic offences as they are often time specific and it is very easy for a driver to misunderstand the times stated on the signs at the start of a bus lane, or to miss the signs altogether as many are badly placed and are often obscured, not infrequently by buses! The increasing use of bus lane cameras mean that local authorities can raise considerable revenue by automatically ticketing any vehicle that strays into a bus lane, even if it was only in the lane for a very short distance passing a vehicle waiting to turn right, or when turning left into a side road. Fines for distraction, speeding, jumping red lights, etc., are justifiable as they are all about road safety, but bus lane fines are all about revenue. LAs will refute this and say they need to keep the bus lanes clear, but that is a smoke screen as many bus lanes are only used by a few buses an hour.

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