Through the last ten years, it has become apparent that many drivers are not taking the consequences of some of the most common, yet dangerous cases of careless driving seriously. Many drivers become repeat offenders due to the simple fact that most consequences are minor and they are unlikely to run themselves into serious trouble. However, this has changed dramatically over the last couple of years, fines have increased, and the risk of withdrawal of your licence due to careless or dangerous driving is considerably more likely.
What Happens If You Are Guilty Of Careless Or Dangerous Driving?
The government implement a whole host of new traffic and road laws each year to ensure that all drivers remain safe on the road. If they notice an increase in accidents due to a particular problem, it is more than likely that serious measures will be put in place, or if there are no consequences, a law will be introduced, to decrease the likelihood of a future problem.
There are many different instances of careless or dangerous driving that occurs every day, and in some cases, drivers do not realise the severity. Here are some of the most common traffic offences with possible consequences.
No Car Insurance
It can be easy to forget that you are due to renew your car insurance or the thrill of passing your test has made the job of arranging your policy has slipped your mind. However, driving with no insurance can lead to serious problems, you could have your licence taken away before you even have the opportunity to enjoy it.
Police officers are in their right to stop you if they suspect that you are driving carelessly or with no insurance. If you are caught, you will receive a fine of £200 on the spot and up to eight points on your licence. This is, of course, serious for every driver, but particularly a new driver within their first two years of being on the road. Drivers in their first couple of years are legally only allowed six points on their licence, anymore and they will have both their vehicle and licence taken.
If you are approaching the time of renewal, it is more than likely that your insurance company will send you reminders through text message, email or even letters. For extra precaution, it is recommended to also set a reminder on the electronic device you use the most to renew your policy in advance.
We continuously hear of councils cracking down on speeding in their local area; it seems as if everytime you are out on the road, you spot a new speed camera or an undercover officer. Although speeding is an offence that is often taken with a pinch of salt, drivers are often unaware of the severity of being caught speeding. The fine and consequences you receive will depend on how much you were breaking the speed limit; you will fall into one of three bands.
A is one of the most common bands that drivers fall into, in particular, when they are driving through an area, they are unaware of, or the speed limit has recently been changed. Bands are based on the speed limit of 30mph, but give a realistic insight into the consequences you may face.
If you fall into band A, it means that you are driving 31 – 40 mph in a 30 zone. Here you will be faced with three points on your licence and a fine of half of your weekly income.
Band B indicates that your speed in a 30 mph road falls between 41 – 50 mph, so alongside with the increase in speed, comes an increase in consequences. Both your fine and number of point on your licence will double to a full week of income and four points. If your speeding caused an accident or put others in danger, you could also have your licence taken for one month. However, you will be able to get your licence back without retaking your test or re-applying for your licence.
Band C is the most serious category of speeding; it means that you were breaking the speed limit by a dramatic amount, going anywhere from 51 mph or more in a 30 zone. You will be fined 150% of your weekly income, be faced with six points on your licence and your licence taken for up to 56 days. For a new driver, similar to driving with no car insurance, will mean that your licence will be taken off of you.
With the evergrowing evolution of technology and additional gadgets that can be added to modify your vehicle, comes an increase in the likelihood of distractions. Not only are electronics such as mobile phones and music players classed as distractions, but you can even be prosecuted for eating and drinking.
Bad lane discipline and swerving is a primary indication that a driver is distracted, a £100 fine can be given if caught. If your lack of concentration is to cause an accident, you will be taken to court with a £2,500 fine.
Tailgating, in the past, was not classed as-as severe as other driving offences, but this has recently changed. The fine for tailgating has increased from £60 to £100 and drivers face three points on their licence.
An extremely common cause of a minor in driving tests is tailgating, learners may be a perfect driver, but if they are continuously driving with less than the two second time gap, they will receive minors. We spoke to Andrew Kirbyshaw who is a driving instructor in Sheffield about tailgating.
“One of my pet hates is impatient drivers, especially those who tailgate learners when they can see that they are in the middle of a lesson. I find it often makes learners feel as if they also have to tailgate to keep other drivers happy, which, of course, isn’t true. It’s a bad habit that always comes up in driving tests as a common issue.”
The consequences of driving offences are constantly changing, which means that it is vital always to make yourself aware of any updates. For more information on important driving laws, take a look at our previous articles on the dangers of drink driving and talking on the phone and driving. It is also recommended to refresh your memory by taking a read through The Highway Code.