Many newly passed drivers forget that just because they are less experienced than others and are bound to experience scenarios they have never been faced with before, it doesn’t mean that they can bend the law and get away with different offences. Now, more than ever, authorities, police officers and your local council are keeping a careful eye out for drivers who do not comply with the law meaning the consequences are becoming more and more serious.
To avoid running into the wrong side of the law and finding yourself faced with a huge fine, or even worse, a prison sentence, it’s vital to make yourself aware of the most common driving offences.
What Are The Most Common Driving Offences?
Each year, unfortunately, drivers seem to become more careless and believe they can take chances out of frustration or to get to their destination quicker. Along with an increase in the number of offences committed, comes more severe consequences. The small things you do now and again that bend the law may have been fine a few years ago, but most definitely will not be acceptable now.
The severity of your consequence often varies depending on to what extent you broke the law. Either way, particularly as a new driver, you want to avoid committing any offence at all costs. Remember, in your first two years of passing; you only need to pick up six points to lose your licence.
Use of Mobile Devices
As we all know, it is illegal to use your phone while driving; however, this doesn’t seem to stop people answering phone calls, changing their song, replying to a text or even snapchatting their journey. Due to the number of people still using their mobile phone even though it is illegal, back in 2017, the consequences were doubled. The minimum fine for this offence is £200 with no maximum limit, and you will immediately get six points on your licence.
The rules regarding the use of a mobile device while behind the wheel are precise. You can use your phone for navigation or to stream music, however only if it is used as a hands-free device. The mobile cannot be used, repositioned or touched throughout your journey, so we highly recommend investing in a mobile phone holder to avoid any issues.
No Car Insurance
Although you’re probably going to be bursting with excitement when you finally get your hands on the keys to your first car, you cannot drive until you have made car insurance arrangements. If you know that you have to drive your car back from the dealership or whoever you have purchased it from, you must sort car insurance beforehand. You do not have to physically have the car to arrange your car insurance, as long as you have the number plate and it has been purchased, you can take out a policy.
Police officers have the right to pull you over for several different reasons, one of which is if they suspect you are driving with no insurance. Being caught committing this offence will not only leave you with an instant £200 fine but also up to a huge eight points on your licence. This is more than enough to lose your licence before you even had a chance to enjoy it.
No matter how many times the emergency services, government, television adverts and even posters around your local area stress the dangers of drink driving, it still doesn’t seem to deter drivers. It is, and always has been, the most dangerous driving offence you can commit. The Drink Driving Facts website states that each year, an average of 3,000 people a year are either severely injured or killed due to drink driving.
The consequences of being caught driving under the influence of alcohol differ based on the severity of your offence from attempting to drive under the influence to causing death by dangerous driving. If you are caught in charge of a vehicle after drinking, you risk not only a £2,500 fine but three months in prison. Attempting to drive or refusing to take a breathalyser test will result in a fine of an unlimited amount, six months in jail and a one-year driving ban. In the worst case scenario, if you cause death by drink driving, you face an unlimited cash fine, up to 14 years in prison and a driving ban of a minimum of two years.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland share the same legal drink-driving limit, whereas Scotland is slightly less. For more information on legal limits, take a look at the GOV.UK website.
Speeding is one of the easiest offences to commit, and it is often not deliberately committed. According to Wales Online, in just one year, 35,000 drivers were caught on camera speeding on the M4 alone, so think about how much this statistic would increase if this is the case for every motorway in the UK along with speeding through city and rural areas – pretty impressive right?
The consequences of speeding are broken down into three categories, titled band A, B and C, with Band C being the most serious. The band you fall into depends on the amount you were over the speed limit, consequences are categorised by the following pattern, all of which are based on a 30mph example, however, are the same for every limit:
Speed: Between 31 – 40 mph in a 30 zone
Consequence: 3 points on your licence and a fine of 50% of your weekly income
Speed: 41 – 50 mph in a 30 zone
Consequence: 4 points on your licence and a fine of a 100% of your weekly income
Speed: 51 mph or more in a 30 zone
Consequence: 6 points on your licence, a fine of 150% of your weekly income and a driving ban of up to 56 days
We once had a pupil who was taking driving lessons in Luton and was caught on camera doing 95 mph on a 70 mph dual carriageway just a few weeks after they passed. They thought because it was late at night and there were no other drivers around they would be fine. Little did they know they were caught on camera and have now lost their licence. Unfortunate, but still a stupid decision.
Stay Within The Law
Realistically, it isn’t hard to stay within the law when behind the wheel. As long as you remember everything your driving instructor taught you during lessons and do not become pressured by others to act irresponsibly, you will be able to enjoy your licence for as long as you wish to. For a list of all UK driving offences, we have found a useful list on Wikipedia.