A motor insurer has claimed that some 300,000 drivers might have accepted penalty points on behalf of someone else in the last ten years. The research from LV= estimated about 6 per cent of UK drivers would take the rap for another person’s penalty points.
Cabinet minister Chris Huhne is alleged to have asked his ex-wife Vicky Pryce to accept penalty points rather than face a ban. He denies it. Apparently, one in twenty drivers said they would be willing to lie and take on penalty points for a significant other – two thirds (66%) of them said they would do it to ensure their friend was not disqualified from driving and over half (59%) said they would do it to protect their friend’s livelihood as they would lose their job if their licence was taken away. A fifth (21%) said they would be prepared to take on points for a friend because, despite incurring penalty points, their friend is a safe driver. Of those who admitted taking on someone else’s penalty points, 6% said they were paid to do it.
According to LV=, approximately 300,000 drivers have lied and said they were driving their friend or partner’s car when they were caught speeding and taken on the penalty points incurred by the offence. The insurer reckons one in twenty drivers (4 per cent) believed it wasn’t against the law to take some points.
Lying to the police and taking on penalty points for another driver is against the law and (the insurer points out) it will become more difficult to get away with as police forces across the UK trial and roll-out a new video speed gun. These new speed cameras record a vehicle’s speed and capture the driver on film, which can then be matched against driving licence photos held by the DVLA. There are already a number of cameras in the UK that photograph the front of the vehicle as well as the driver and these are also becoming more commonplace.
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council's journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year's Criminal Justice Alliance's journalism award