Why penalty points matter
Millions of motorists have taken penalty points for offences committed by family members which is illegal, immoral, and jeopardises road safety in The United Kingdom, Co-op Insurance research implied. The survey showed that 19% of motorists have taken such points which equates to 28% of males and 10% of females.
Consider the implications. Penalty points encourage drivers to follow the rules of the road that minimise the risk of collision, death, injury and property damage. Motorists, therefore, know if they break such rules they face significant, long term, consequences that have an impact on their lifestyle. These include:
- Higher motor insurance premiums
- Difficulty hiring vehicles
- Embarrassment and social ridicule
Furthermore, motorists that receive an excess of points are considered a consistent, unacceptable, and excessive risk to themselves and others so get their licence revoked. Among other things, this punishment can make it more difficult to find, or keep, a job. The point totals typically necessary to be banned are:
- Experienced motorists (12 points within 3 years)
- New motorists (6 points within 2 years of passing the test)
Dangerous drivers escape conviction
Motorists that have taken points for others spared them these sanctions. As a result, the perpetrators learnt they can be irresponsible on the road without consequence. Perhaps they continue to drive without due care and attention, for example. That is to the detriment of every other driver, pedestrian, and cyclist.
Point swappers keep it in the family
Co-op Insurance further confirmed that drivers have most often taken points for their spouse (49%). Furthermore, 23% did so for their daughter, 9% for their mother and 6% for their son. Most – 27% - did so because they did not expect points to have any significant impact on the cost of insurance. Other reasons include:
To prevent the offender receiving a ban (23%)
For money (18%)
Because their own licence has already been revoked (17%)
Nick Ansley, Head of Motor Insurance at the Co-op, has condemned point swappers. “It is surprising and quite concerning that a fifth of motorists have taken penalty points for someone else. Penalty points are in place to deter people from committing motoring offences and to ensure safer driving for all on the road”, he said.
Perverting the course of justice
Licence holders that have taken penalty points for family face significant, legal, penalties if caught. They have perverted the course of justice, after all. In the most extreme case, the punishment is life imprisonment, a big fine plus a criminal record.