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Calls for U-Turn Over Wiping of Driver Offences

A number of road safety campaigners and insurers have called for the Scottish Government to scrap their plan to wipe driving licences clean after 12 months.

The proposals, will see driving offences such as driving without insurance or speeding wiped off the record after a year rather than the current five years that such crimes are kept on record for. The plan is part of the Scottish Government’s aim to introduce a fairer rehabilitation scheme for road users with the changes possibly relating to those who have been found guilty of drink driving.

Criticism of the new Scheme

Despite the potential to develop such a scheme in Scotland, many have been critical of the changes which some suggests belittles serious road crime. Road traffic campaigners spoke of the dangers of “airbrushing” any serious road traffic offences.  Gary Rae, campaigns director for the charity, said: “We’re seriously concerned that this could remove any obligation for some drivers to drive safely, as well as potentially increasing insurance premiums for all drivers.”

Insurers also condemned the proposals stating that if such a policy were brought in, they would be unable to identify safe drivers from those who break the law. As a result of the change, many insurance groups have warned that insurance premiums could rise as a result of the policy, even for safer drivers.

The Direct Line Group said that the proposals suggested by the Scottish Government were “extremely disproportionate” and that it would no longer be able to identify drivers who risk the lives of others.

In a statement, they said: “If insurers are only able to ask for endorsable motoring offences which are less than 12 months old, insurers would no longer have the ability to identify those drivers who drive without care for motoring laws, such as speed restrictions.

“The impact of this would be to share the risk across all the drivers resident in Scotland, thus increasing the premiums for those drivers who have not committed any motoring offences.

“The Scottish Government proposals would lead to a significant dumbing down of serious offences, which would normally lead to a higher insurance premium, and would remove one of the deterrents against poor driving behaviour – people generally drive more responsibly after motoring convictions until the convictions are spent.”

Driving Offences in Scotland: Current Legislation

The offences that could be affected are some of the most common in Scotland and could, according to some, result in a significantly higher frequency of accidents across the country. As mentioned, offences such as speeding and drink driving will potentially be affected by the new proposals.

Driving Offences in Scotland: Taking Legal Action

Whilst we do not condone speeding, driving recklessly or driving under the influence, we understand that there are many circumstances that can catch you out (such as driving the day after having alcohol) Defending a driving charge can be exceptionally complex and can result in  rigorous and thorough investigation of the facts as well as obtaining information on the incident from witnesses

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If you require the advice of our expert solicitors regarding any aspect of road traffic law, get in touch today using our online contact form.

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