What Are The Most Common Driving Offences?
You’ve probably heard many friends, family members and even your instructor express the fact that the real test when it comes to driving commences the moment you pass your test and get on the roads independantly. No longer is there the reassurance of dual controls and an experienced instructor by your side, its all down to you to stick to the law and remain a safe driver. Making yourself aware of the most common driving offences is vital to ensure that you avoid fines, points or even a driving ban.
Top 5 Common Driving Offences
Due to the high increase in the number of young drivers committing driving offences time after time again, laws have become considerably stricter, and the consequences are more serious. As a driver in your first year, it only takes six points for your licence to be revoked, which is one of the main deterrents the government have used to their advantage. So, if you want to keep a clean licence and enjoy your newly gained freedom, we’ve devised a list of the top 5 common driving offences.
1. No Car Insurance
Some learners purchase their first car while taking lessons, so they can immediately get on the roads, and others wait to reward themselves once passed. Either way, you must remember to get insured before attempting to drive independantly otherwise you run the risk of getting your licence taken away before you even had the chance to make the most out of it.
If you are caught driving a vehicle you are not insured to drive; whether it is your own or someone else’s, you will be faced with a £200 fine you must pay upfront and a hefty eight points on your licence. As mentioned previously, it only takes six points in your first year for the police to remove your licence, so there’s no question about it. Drive with no insurance, lose your licence.
Even if you are an experienced driver, the consequences of driving with no insurance will remain the same, always remember to renew your policy or if you want a cheaper premium, research and make arrangements in advance. The majority of insurance companies send reminders a month before your renewal date, but also keep a note in your diary or on your mobile to be extra safe.
2. Use Of Your Mobile Phone
Using your mobile phone while driving has been illegal since 2003, however, authorities were finding that the law did not deter many drivers who ignored the rules and continued to use their device. So, in 2017 the consequences of being caught on the phone while driving were doubled. You will now be faced with six points on your licence and a fine starting from £200, again, enough to get your licence dismissed.
Many drivers use their mobile phone for navigation or to stream music, which is only prohibited if use is through a hands-free device. A mobile phone holder can be used, however all set up must be complete before you set off. You must set up your device in a secure, fixed position which will not require to be adjusted or held at any point in your journey. If you are using your mobile for GPS navigation, ensure it is in clear view so you can follow directions without having to touch or move your device.
If police officers believe that you are distracted by your phone, even if it is a hands-free device, you can still be pulled over and questioned.
Tailgating means that you are driving too close to the driver or road user in front of you, disobeying the two-second rule. In the past, tailgating was not a serious offence, it was a problem, but all you could be faced with was a £60 fine. Due to recent changes, being caught tailgating will leave you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence.
Tailgating has become a more severe offence due to the rise in accidents that could have been avoided if drivers kept their distance. Failing to take into account the two-second rule dramatically decreases your reaction time if the driver in front must quickly brake due to an emergency, increasing the likelihood of a collision.
If you test is approaching, always be wary of the act of tailgating, examiners will keep an eye out for bad driving practices. We had a pupil a few years ago who was taking driving lessons in Leicester and failed their test due to continually driving too close to the vehicle in front.
Local councils have cracked down on speeding, fitting several more speed cameras and placing undercover speed patrol in familiar places for breaking the speed limit. The severity of the consequences you will be faced with if you are caught speeding varies depending on how much you are over the limit by. Consequences are categorised into three bands, band A, B and C and are based on the speed limit of 30mph.
Band A means that you have been caught driving 10mph or less over the speed limit, for a 30 zone, this is 31 – 40pmh. A Band A consequence is a fine of half your weekly licence and three points.
Falling into the Band B category means that you have been caught driving at a speed of 41-50mph in a 30 zone. Here you will receive 4 points and a double in fine to a whole week worth of income.
Band C, if you haven’t already guessed is the highest level of consequences you will receive for speeding. To fall into the Band C category, you would have to drive 51mph or more, again in a 30mph speed limit zone. You will be faced with six points, 150% of your weekly income and a driving ban of up to 56 days.
5. Drink Driving
As we are all aware of, drink driving is the most severe and dangerous offence you can be charged with. Many different situations may result in a charge for drink driving, including the following:
- Being caught in charge of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol
- Caught driving a vehicle
- Refusing to take a breathalyser test
- Causing death by drink driving
All of the above scenarios will result in a prison sentence, driving ban and an unlimited fine. For more information on the legal driving limits and drink driving penalties, take a look at this useful article.
Stay Within The Law
The severity of driving offence consequences is continuously increasing year on year. Laws are becoming stricter meaning you simply cannot afford to be caught committing any of the above offences. If would like some more details on the different driving offences, head over to The Crown Prosecution Service website and take a read through The Highway Code.