Over the last ten years, motorists in England and Wales have received 28 million fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for traffic offences, new analysis by Direct Line Car Insurance has revealed.
Many of these penalties were easily avoidable, says Direct Line, highlighting that 2,030,100 motorists received a fine for the most basic of driver offences, not wearing a seatbelt.
Speeding was found to be the most common FPN offence, accounting for 15 million FPNs. The analysis also points to a lack of awareness on the road, with over two million (2,010,600) motorists receiving fines for neglect of traffic signs and directions or pedestrian rights, including failing to give way, running a red light or driving elsewhere than on the road.
Over five million FPNs were handed out for inconsiderate driver behaviours such as obstruction and parking offences. Some 852,488 drivers received a fine because they were not up to date on their paper work. This includes vehicle registration and excise licence offences (i.e. not having a visible registration mark) as well as driving without valid insurance or while disqualified.
The police can issue FPNs for traffic offences resulting in the driver being fined and potentially getting penalty points on their licence, explains Direct Line. In some cases, motorists may be disqualified from driving if they build up 12 points within three years.
“Millions of motorists are risking fines and penalty points for failing to obey the basic rules of the road, such as wearing a seat belt,” commented Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line. “The analysis highlights that millions of drivers are being penalised each year for flouting the most obvious of traffic laws, such as speeding. Careless drivers put lives at risk and are also a major source of concern and irritation for those motorists that abide by the law.”
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