Number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued in the United Kingdom, plus the most common offences and most prolific regions.
Drivers most commonly punished for speeding
Britain's motorists received 28 million Fixed Penalty Notices between 2002 and 2012 most typically for speeding, Direct Line confirmed. The insurance company - based on its analysis of Home Office data – said that 15,299,039 people were caught speeding within the time frame. Other common categories of offence included:
- obstruction, waiting and parking (5,640,089),
- seat belt (2,030,079),
- neglect of traffic signs and directions and pedestrian rights (2,010,625),
- use of hand-held mobile phone (1,067,411),
- licence, insurance and record keeping (852,488),
- vehicle test and condition (464,492),
- lighting and noise (212,736),
- careless driving excluding use of hand-held mobile (128,808),
- other such as load related (67,036).
Gus Park, Direct Line's Commercial Director of Motor Insurance, said: 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.”
Fixed Penalty Notices by region
Drivers in Police Force region Suffolk were the most frequent offenders per-thousand, at 362. They were followed by their counterparts within: South Wales (351), Merseyside (341), Gwent (339), Lincolnshire (324), North Wales (324), Cumbria (320), Warwickshire (317), Dorset (312) and finally Avon & Somerset (324).
Fixed Penalty Notice explained
The AA explained that: “A fixed penalty notice is a conditional offer – you can accept guilt, pay the fine, take the points and the matter will be closed - or you can reject the offer in which case you will be summonsed to appear in court”. Furthermore, there are 2 types relating to motoring offences: endorsable and non-endorsable.
An endorsable notice typically – but not exclusively – incorporates 3 licence penalty points plus a £100 fine. Endorsable offences include: exceeding the speed limit, failing to stop at a red traffic light, using a hand-held mobile phone and not having third party insurance (or better).
A non-endorsable notice never includes penalty points, but there is typically a £50 fine (sometimes higher or lower). Offences include: driving without an MOT, failing to comply with traffic signs such as “give way”, and not wearing a belt.
Fixed Penalty Notice is “absolutely necessary”, say police
The Association of Chief Police Officers' Suzette Davenport claimed, in 2013, that such power are: “Absolutely necessary to deal with drivers who are putting people’s lives at risk and police will not hesitate to enforce them.”
She added: “The vast majority of drivers are law abiding, but some are still not getting the message.”