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The most common vehicle offenses in the UK
The most common vehicle offenses in the UK

According to new statistics from the DVLA, young drivers aged 16-25 are among the most common offenders behind the wheel. According to Moneyshake's Freedom of Information request submitted to the agency, 80,000 motor offenses were committed by young drivers in 2017.

According to the data, the five most frequent driving infractions committed by young drivers are:

  1. Speeding on a public road.
  2. Speeding on a motorway.
  3. Driving while using a mobile phone.
  4. Driving without due care and attention.
  5. Using a vehicle with defective tires.

The following offenses all result in a fixed fine (FPN) and license points, which can be canceled if you pass your driving test within two years. Don't worry, we've compiled a list of ways to avoid committing all of these infractions.

1. Speeding on a public road

Minimum penalty: If you've had a fixed penalty notice for speeding in the past, you'll lose your license for 12 months and have three points on it. You may also be offered the option of attending a speed awareness course if you haven't done so in the last three years (as long as you haven't been on one previously).

Maximum penalty: If you are caught speeding for the first time, you face a £1,000 fine and a driving ban or your license can be suspended. You could have your driver's license revoked if you accumulate six or more penalty points within the first two years after passing your test.

What does the law say?

A speed camera or the cops might pull you over on a public road for speeding.

In the case of the latter, you'll get a Notice of Intended Prosecution and a Section 172 notice asking for the driver's name at the time of the offense. This notification must be returned within 28 days if it is not completed correctly, and it must contain the driver's identity, otherwise, you could face legal repercussions.

In response, you'll either be sent an FPN or a letter demanding that you appear in court.

A verbal warning, an FPN on the spot (or one sent in the mail), or a letter ordering you to appear in court can all be given to you if stopped by the police.

Pleading guilty to an FPN entails paying a £100 fine or taking a speed awareness course. If you plead not guilty, on the other hand, you'll be required to appear in court.

Remember: If you are convicted in court, you may face a harsher penalty. You could receive more penalty points (i.e., six or nine rather than the minimum of three), be fined up to £1,000, and even be disqualified from driving or have your license revoked.

Four Ways to avoid speeding on a public road

Speeding is the most prevalent vehicle offense in the United Kingdom, with a recent study finding that it has risen by five percent each year since 2011 and that 15.9 million speeding convictions have occurred during this period.

Even inexperienced drivers are not immune from the law, with speeding on a public road accounting for 58.72 percent of the 80,000 infractions committed by people under the age of 25.

Despite being a frequent mistake for novice drivers, there are several strategies to maintain your speed under control when you're on the road. Here are four of our top suggestions for avoiding speeding:

  1. Keep your eyes open for speed indications, especially when you're driving on a new road because the speed limit is more than likely to be lowered to reflect the characteristics of the region where you'll be parked. If you have a contemporary car or advanced satellite navigation, you may have a speed sign detection technology that can automatically identify changing speed limits while you drive.
  2. When descending, choose a lower gear - Selecting a higher gear while traveling downhill will rapidly boost your speed, requiring you to apply the brakes heavily to avoid exceeding the limit. Instead of selecting a higher gear to activate the engine's braking system, consider using a lower gear to engage the engine's braking system. This will keep your automobile under control and prevent your vehicle's brakes from overheating.
  3. Use a speed limiter (if your car has one) - most modern vehicles include a speed limit that you can set. These are particularly useful if you know your trip will be mostly in one area (i.e., local 30mph loads or a national speed limit on the motorway).
  4. Allow plenty of time for your trip – figure out how long it will take you to get where you're going and give yourself an extra 20-30 minutes (sometimes, if it's a lengthy journey or you're traveling on busy roads at peak rush hour, you may want to add more). If you're less concerned about making it to your destination on time, you'll be less inclined to speed.

2. Speeding on a motorway

Minimum penalty: If you're caught speeding on a motorway, your vehicle will be clamped and towed away, costing you £100 and three penalty points on your license (or you may be offered the choice to go on a motorway awareness course if you haven't done so in the previous three years).

Maximum penalty: If you drive above 100 mph, you may be fined up to £2,500 and/or prevented from driving for a while.

What does the law say?

The national speed limit on motorways is 70 mph, and the law states that anything above this is considered speeding. However, most police forces utilize a tolerance of 10% plus 2mph to give drivers more wiggle room without causing others to look at their speedometers, which might easily lead to an accident.

It means that unless you're driving at 79 mph or above, a camera will not flash on a motorway.

With the introduction of smart motorways, things get a bit more difficult. These contemporary high-speed thoroughfares have variable speed limits (i.e. 50 mph down from 70 mph) that are meant to regulate traffic and avoid congestion on portions of the road. There are more cameras placed here, so you mustn't break the "buffer zone" speed limit when driving through these regions; otherwise, you risk being fined or prohibited, depending on how quick you're going.

Four ways to avoid speeding on a motorway

These four things may help you avoid speeding on a public road or a motorway:

  1. Cruise control and/or a speed limiter are useful – as we previously said, most contemporary vehicles have cruise control with a speed limit or simply a speed limit. You may keep an appropriate and legal speed by utilizing this* and establishing your 70 mph maximum speed.
  2. If you're caught on a smart motorway, remember that if you come to a temporary speed limit zone, you'll need to switch off cruise control (which is simple because the brake pedal does it for you).
  3. Keep an eye on your speedometer regularly - it's not wise to look at your speedometer while driving because you won't be able to see where you're going. Nonetheless, you should check your speedometer approximately every few minutes to verify that you aren't speeding and ensure that the indicated speed is accurate.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time – motorways can be a particularly busy area to drive during peak hours (i.e. mornings and early evenings), therefore you must allow enough time to arrive comfortably. This is why you should have a clear picture of how long it will take to get where you're going, as well as an allowance
  5. Don’t have your music volume set too loud – According to research by the South China University of Technology, listening to loud and fast-tempo music may boost your speed by 5-10 mph, potentially enough to cause you to speed. As a result, when driving in an attempt to reduce the chance of speeding, you should consider setting a more peaceful atmosphere in your car.

3. Driving while using a mobile phone

Minimum penalty: You'll lose your license if you get six penalty points in 24 months. You'll be fined £200 and will receive six penalty points on your license if you use a hand-held phone while driving. If you've passed your driving test within the last two years, your license will be revoked. You may also be given three penalty points if you

Maximum penalty:  If you're caught driving dangerously or carelessly while using a mobile phone, you may be fined up to £5,000, receive nine points on your license, and/or be banned from driving for up to two years. If the case goes to court, you might also face an unlimited fine.

What does the law say?

If the case goes to court, you could be fined up to £1,000 or banned from driving. This rises to £2,500 if you're driving a truck or a bus.

What does the law say?

The only times you can use your hand-held phone while driving in the United Kingdom are as follows:

  • When you’re safely parked.
  • When you need to make an emergency call 999 or 112 and it’s unsafe/impractical to stop (i.e. there’s no lay-by or area to pull over on the road you’re driving on and stopping could cause an accident).

Hands-free devices, such as a Bluetooth headpiece, voice control infotainment system, or windscreen mount are all good options. However, any phone holder on the dashboard or windscreen may not obscure your vision of the road.

While stopped at traffic lights or inline, you may still get pulled over by cops and fined for using your phone.

Five ways to avoid mobile phone use while driving

It's easy to miss a gap in your rear fence if you're talking on a mobile phone or distracted by your hand-held device, navigation system, or infotainment system.

Here are five ways to avoid the lure of using your phone while driving:

  1. Before you begin your trip, turn off/set the alarm in ‘do not disturb mode on your phone.
  2. Place it in a glove box or cubby holder where you can't see or hear it, and you'll be less likely to be distracted by it or tempted to touch it.
  3. Invest in a hands-free gadget (if your car doesn't already have one) like a Bluetooth headset or an infotainment system that supports a mobile phone.
  4. If you need to make or receive an emergency call, wait until you can pull into a lay-by, car park, or other safe location before doing so.
  5. If you're using a dashboard/windscreen mount for your phone, make sure it doesn't obstruct your view of the road/traffic ahead.

4. Careless Driving

Minimum penalty: 3-9 penalty points on your license or a disqualification.

Maximum penalty: Depending on how bad the incident is, you may be fined up to £2,500.

What does the law say?

Tailgating, missing a red light, overpassing on the inside, and turning into the path of another vehicle are all common drivers' mistakes that are considered ‘reckless.'

If you're accused of driving without due care and attention, the prosecutor will need to show that your driving fell below an acceptable level of a competent driver.

Excessive speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, being distracted while driving, and causing injury/damage to others or their property, as well as tiredness, are aggravating circumstances that can determine whether you receive only penalty points, disqualification, or a fine.

Three ways to avoid driving without due care and attention

Avoiding a reckless driving charge is all about knowing what to do to stay safe while behind the wheel of your vehicle.

Here are three ways to guarantee that you don't drift from the expected standard of driving when you're on the road:

  1. Make sure you're well-rested before getting behind the wheel if you appear to be tired (e.g. yawning, blurred vision, lack of attention). If your journey isn't essential, it's probably better to use another mode of transportation or avoid travel altogether.
  2. Reduce the number of outside distractions inside your car, such as turning off or changing the setting to "do not disturb" on your phone, lowering the volume of alerts on your media/sat nav system, and asking any passengers not to distract you while driving.
  3. Pay extra attention to possible dangers on the road, especially in areas you're unfamiliar with, such as unfamiliar roads where you may not anticipate them. Keep your speed within the limits set forth by the law to reduce your chances of being arrested for speeding.

5. Using faulty automobile tires

Minimum penalty: For each tire that you exceed the permitted weight limit by 10%, you'll be fined £100 and receive three demerit points on your license.

Maximum penalty: If you are found guilty in a magistrates' court, you may face a fine of up to £2,500 and be disqualified.

What does the law say?

If your vehicle's tires are considered to be faulty, you might be accused of having bad tires:

  • Aren’t suitably inflated to make it fit for the way the vehicle is being used.
  • Have a cut on them that’s over 25mm.
  • Feature any lumps, tears, or bulges caused by failure of the tire’s structure.
  • Have the cord/ply exposed.
  • Don’t have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band measuring at least three-quarters of the breadth of the tread.

Four ways to avoid using a vehicle with defective tires

Because your automobile's tires are the only thing that comes into contact with the road, it's critical that you keep an eye on their maintenance - not simply to avoid legal repercussions, but also to ensure the safety of your vehicle.

Follow these four simple steps to keep your tires in an acceptable and safe condition:

  1. Check your tire pressure every two weeks or before embarking on a long drive.
  2. Check your tires' tread depth with a 20p coin - insert a 20p coin into the tread on each of your tires to ensure they fulfill the legal minimal requirement of 1.6mm. If you insert it too high or too low, they may need to be replaced to avoid a penalty.
  3. Check your tire walls and rims for any flaws every few weeks to ensure that they are safe (e.g. tears, lumps, bulges, and uneven wear). If you notice anything odd, contact your local approved garage straight away.
  4. Each year, have a comprehensive service – servicing may be necessary if your automobile is older than three years and does not pass its MOT. Your tires, on the other hand, could just meet the legal requirements and be labeled as an advisory to watch out for. As a result, you must have an all-around service at least once a year (ideally before your MOT is due) to guarantee that your tires are in good working order.

Resources:

https://www.gov.uk/speeding-penalties

https://www.carwow.co.uk/guides/running/what-is-the-penalty-for-speeding

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