Speeding and speed-related offences are the most common, representing 70% of all offences. This is followed by careless or dangerous driving, and driving whilst unfit. Finally, motoring convictions related to drink or drugs were the next biggest group.
Here are the most common road traffic offences and charges:
Unsurprisingly, in our fast-moving society, speeding figures in the top ten of most common driving offences. 50% of motorists admit speeding on motorway, whilst a third break the limit in built-up areas.
Penalties for speeding range from three points on your licence to an automatic ban, and that’s not forgetting having to pay a fines that can range between £60 and £2,500.
Using your phone at the wheel
It is an offence to make calls or send text messages when driving. With good reason, you are four times more likely to have an accident when using a mobile phone at the wheel. Reaction times slow by 50%. Get caught and you can face a penalty of 3 points and a £60 fine.
Not wearing your seatbelt
Belting up when getting into a car is a habit for most of us. Fail to do so and the law takes a dim view. Find yourself stopped without wearing your seatbelt, and the fine can be up to £500.
Whilst some people don’t regard this as a driving offence, the law certainly does. Drive too close to the vehicle in front and you’re committing an offence of careless driving. The result? Potentially, 3 to 9 points, a period of disqualification and a fine of up to £5000
Not stopping at a red light
Most often detected by an automatic camera at a junction, a Red Light Ticket means a £100 fine and 3 points on your license. With no court appearance.
If you already have 9 points or more on your license, this offence can have serious consequences and result in more serious consequences. It may lead to not only a fine of up to £1000 , but also disqualification under “totting-up” provisions.
Driving without an MOT
Whilst you won’t earn any penalty points, you could face a fine of up to £1000 and invalidate your insurance. The only exception is if you’re driving to a pre-arranged test appointment or to a garage for repairs required to pass the MOT.
Driving under the influence of alcohol
One of the most serious offences, putting not just the driver and passengers in danger, drunk drivers are also risking the safety of other road users. A conviction for driving with excess alcohol means a minimum disqualification period of 12 months (or 36 months for a second offence within 10 years). Plus a fine of up to £5,000. The most serious cases could result in a prison term of up to 6 months.
Driving without due care and attention
This is a wide-ranging offence. Driving without due care and attention can mean anything from a simple bump to a serious collision involving major damage and injury.
Punishments are dependent on the offence, and the penalty range is between 3 and 9 penalty points or a disqualification, with a potential fine of up to £5000.
Dangerous driving, a statutory offence, includes racing on the road, aggressive driving, being avoidably distracted by your passengers, or driving a vehicle with a serious, dangerous defect.
Convictions here can lead to to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or a fine, or both. A mandatory disqualification for 12 months will follow, and the convicted driver has to return to being a learner driver and re-sit their test.
Driving while disqualified
Ignoring a driving ban, whatever you got it for, means a severe penalty. Up to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to £5000.
Driving without insurance
Insurance cover isn’t just for you and your vehicle, but also to cover other vehicles and drivers. So, driving without insurance is one of the more serious offences on the statute books. Get caught driving without insurance and a £5000 fine, 8 penalty points or even a period of disqualification could be on the cards.
Just a minor offence? No, driving a vehicle with defective tyres carries some pretty severe penalties. Like a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points.