The number of convictions for traffic offences continues to climb, since 2014, following seven years of decline. This is according to official figures from the UK road safety charity, IAM Roadsmart. The total number of drivers receiving points on their licence in 2016 increased 2% to 356,000, compared to 2015.
One motoring offence which continues to grow involves ‘failing to supply information as to identity of driver when required’, with 82,029 guilty offenders prosecuted in 2016, compared with 12,056 back in 2006 – a difference of almost 70,000 accumulated over the past 10 years.
The rise is believed to be linked to the increased amounts of surveillance, leading to more requests of driver identity. With greater company car uptake over the recent years, the process of requesting a driver’s details may be hindered when the vehicle in question is registered to a fleet company.
If details are not supplied, the penalties can be more severe than for the offence, and fines up to £1,000, six points and court costs can be incurred. A company can be summoned to court for failure to disclose, too – and if the court suspects that a company secretary or director is contriving to avoid a penalty, those individuals can be held accountable and receive the points.
Although a limited company cannot receive points or disqualification, it can still be fined.
While the increased level of surveillance may bring greater reassurance to motorists concerned about dangerous drivers, it’s also important for fleet managers to process endorsements – such as providing appropriate driver’s details – as soon as possible. This also applies to employees, who are responsible for reporting to their supervisor or manager as soon as possible of any offence or conviction.
Convictions for drink-driving and mobile phone use drop
Both drink-driving convictions and offences for using a mobile phone while driving saw a decline, however, although this still equates to 13,847 prosecutions in 2016 – despite numerous attempts in the past to introduce more stringent laws.
While this is a significant drop from 32,404 in 2011, this may well reflect the progress of in-car connectivity, rather than driver’s attitudes on the road.