posted 4 years ago

Car Drivers illegally swapping points with family and friends!

Research reveals illegal ‘point swapping’

New research has revealed that millions of motorists have no worries about ‘point swapping’ with family and friends and even work colleagues even though it is illegal.  One in twenty drivers have been asked to illegally take points for someone else and a third have actually obliged. A further 34% considered it despite nine out of ten knowing that it was an offence to take someones points. 

The overall picture is that motorists feel that it is harmless to take points and didn't want the person to lose their licence. The research was commissioned by law firm Slater & Gordon who specialise in advising people charged with driving offences.

Paul Reddy, lawyer at Slater & Gordon said “people are desperate to keep their license and will often go to extreme measures in a bid to keep it. If you need you car for work or to help with childcare then the idea of being without it can cause people to panic. But the worst thing you can possible do is lie to the police, courts or authorities. You may think you won’t get found out but the penalty for perverting the course of justice or even attempting to is much more severe than a disqualification.  A prison sentence would be the most likely sentence”.

Prison it was for MP Chris Hunhe and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce who were both jailed for eight months for illegally swapping points.  It was alleged that between 12 March and 21 May 2003, Pryce, a prominent economist, had falsely informed police she had been the driver of the car, so Huhne, who went on to become the MP for Eastleigh, in Hampshire, would avoid prosecution. He was in danger of losing his licence having already accrued nine penalty points. People were most likely to ask their partner to take their points for them and were also more likely to ask their mum to take them over their dad.

It seems key motivators for ‘point swapping’ is the fear of losing a license or  insurance premiums increasing.  Nearly four out of ten motorists in the UK  have been caught speeding in the past and 29% had points on their license as a result of driving offences. You can also be given points for having worn tyres, failing to comply with red lights and using your mobile phone while driving.


John Jones, Very true, it is the inappropriate use of speed that is so dangerous yet, those who are supposed to be in the know STILL can NOT see it. Will they ever?

It is also common practice for people to obtain drivers' licence without taking the mandatory tests...people who have even been disqualified are able to secure a new drivers' licence...this is a farce...

Steve, son or not you should report him to the polce if you don't yu are as bad as him. People like your son should be in prison, not bullying and threatening inocent people

I am totally ashamed to say that my son forces,his staff to take his continuous points tally under threat of dismissal.

If you accumulate 12 points it is not due to carelessness or punitive authorities. It is due to driving outside the law routinely. The chances of being caught for any individual offence are tiny. 4 times? Indicates routine breaking of speed limits. If you break the law routinely then take your punishment

The problem with speed cameras is that they are indiscriminate. Speed doesn't cause accidents, inappropriate speed does. Take 2 extremes. The 1st is hypothetical : A very experienced and skilled driver - maybe a member of the IAM, a police instructor, Lewis Hamilton - on an empty motorway, clear, dry, a full view of the road for 2 miles ahead, doing 80, 90, maybe even 100 mph, in a car designed for that speed ( say a Ferrari ). Perfectly safe. Second example - this I've experienced. On a motorway, suddenly a huge downpour. Couldn't see a thing. Everyone pulled into the left hand lane and was doing about 30 mph. Except some nutter that came up the outside lane in a Range Rover doing about 50 or 60mph. Perfectly legal ( according to a speed camera ), but downright suicidal with torrential rain, huge amounts of surface water and severely limited visibility. Which of these 2 scenarios is more dangerous ? And which would a speed camera pick up ?

In my book anyone who breaks any speed limit has only themselves to blame if they are caught. Speed limits are imposed for a reason, to protect pedestrians and other road users. If someone is foolish enough to swap points with another driver they deserve to be prosecuted for the offence. I have been fined for speeding in the past and had points on my licence but I broke the law and took my punishment accordingly. I think too many drivers just flout the laws which are there to protect us and completely miss the point when caught.

How many times have we seen local authorities fining motorists but then the courts decide that the camersa are illegal and the victims get their money back but the people who operate the illegal camerss get off scot free when they should be fined or jailed for obtaining money under false pretences!

Under section 144 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 you do not need minimum third party insurance (as required by section 143 ibid) if you deposit £500,000 and keep it deposited [at a specific place] if you're the owner of the vehicle and it is being driven under your control. Interstingly when the RTA 1988 was originally enacted the deposit required was only £15,000 (subsequently increased), making an annual average inflation of insurance of about 15% - no wonder people tend to avoid trying to pay for insurance.

To David Emeny: Surely "ifnn" you make 4 errors in one sentence you "shouldnt" be writing as you "arent" very good at it "?"

the spelling of licence is licence as anyone who reads the message can see - it's the first picture of a driving licence!

I would not do this and currently have a clean license. I do however think that the laws re car and motorcycle drivers/riders is not in proportion with the offence. I am not defending this in anyway, but a rider of a motorcycle doing around 150MPH (without actually causing an accident) went to prison for his offence, but someone who breaks into a house and steals then crashes someone’s car gets a slapped wrist because they come from an underprivileged background. Not really fair in my book.

ive been driving 25 yers and never had even a single point n my licence reason for this is because if it says 30 I do 30 I own a 06 plat vxr 450 brake so it can be done

we live in ME ME society and until we change and win people over through 'heart and mind' education there will always be the selfish individuals who think they can beat the system. We live in a sophisticated society and we need to move on from the big stick approach of bashing people around the head with either large fines or penalty points. Ii've been speeding all my life and have been caught on many ocassions by speed cameras all over the country but the last time I learnt my lesson. we should all learn by the example set by northamptonshire's approach where their reinvest the revenue in driver education - I was invited to attend a driver re-habilitation session which cost the same as the fixed penalty charge and at which i learnt the real dangers and potential consequences of accidents at high speed. ( and got a free copy of the Highway Code which I hadn't read in years !) If we as a nation went down the education education route perhaps people would be more honest if they felt they had nothing to loose and so much to gain. The DVLA should set the standard by making the driving theory test much much harder including compulsary classroom lessons at driving test centres - perhaps then we could consider a different approach to speed cameras and in additional the DVLA would at least know who is taking the driving test ( another problem currently raising it's head) As to family members taking other people's points then other than putting them against the wall and shooting them ( perhaps a little harsh ) then the penalties should be considerably greater particulary Mum's and Dad's who with life experiences should Know a damn sight better. How about a five year ban and then re-take your driving test - perhaps that would focus their minds!!! - we could always take what i understand to be the German approach where there automatically issue points to the registered keeper of the vehicle ?

Surely ifnn you commit 3 offences, you shouldnt be driving as you arent very good at it?

The main problem is that ordinary people (motorists)feel the law targets them overly disproportionately and the punishments are endless and cummulative. You can loose your licence, be fined, have points added to your licence - all punishments from the police or courts. As if this is not punishment enough the insuarance companies then take it upon themselves to punish you finnacially through over the roof monthly premiums - again taking advantage of the law which says you cant drive without insurance. my point is as long as people feel they are being victimised by a system they cant influence, they resort to such means.

With the totting up system as it is you could lose your job and livelihood by being slightly over the speed limit on a few occasions. It is no surprise that people do it. Change the system. We are a nation of nervous wrecks on the road for fear of spead cameras and traps.

I think the reason people do it (despite knowing the severs penalties) is that the chances of getting caught are almost zero. Even if you have a big falling out with whoever took your points they are hardly likely to reveal the fact (unless they are stupid) because they will end up doing time as well. At the end of the day, the police aren't that intelligent when it comes to setting up camera vans. The same layby beyond the same bend or beyond the same brow of a hill and anyone with any sense knows where the fixed cameras are anyway. Also, invest in a GPS detector. Tells you where the vans are and also if they are 'live' as well as cameras on unfamiliar roads. A bit of common sense and some relatively low cost tech' keeps you one step ahead so if you want to give it some welly on an empty dual carriageway on a sunny Sunday morning in June, you can.

Modern cars you only have touch the accelerater and you are over the speed limit. If you want drivers to slow down the flashing speed indicators do this. We all go over the speed limit occasionaly If a camara is there you end up with points. what other crime are you done twice insurance then make money from you as well.

There is no way would I take other peoples points.....I have driven over 50 years 30 of them professionally. I value my clean licence

Completely agree with Andrew Bell and David Young. Don't do it in the first place and you won't get caught.

The points system is a farce there are people with dozens of points but are still not banned because they have a sob story. scrap the points system and increase the fines

Not surprised about this. People can be caught speeding simply by paying attention to the road and not staring down at their speedo (which would you say is more road safety orientated??!) the police dont give a damn who was driving. It is simply a stealth tax. If they didnt want people swapping points then why do they take photos of the rear of a vehicle and why do they not actively work towards confirming the drivers identity themselves?

It is easy to get caught speeding, I did 100 yards from my home talking to my partner did not notice the van till it was too late was doing 37 miles per hr braked

I am mot surprised that people take points for each other. I think what it shows is that people feel that the penalty (losing your licence)is way out of proportion to the harm done be simply exceeding a speed limit.

Being penalised is one thing ok, but over five years the insurance company's benefit greater than the courts & once again we the motorist has to pay, why not just put a price that would cover all penalty a etc then when you got caught which is inevitable ie, technology we wouldn't feel it so much N Freeman

Don't speed, don't park illegally and don't talk on your phone while driving then you won't get the points in the first place! If someone has accumulated so many points that they have to consider sharing them out with other people, they deserve to be locked up anyway!!

Rubbish. It doesn't matter where cameras are placed if you drive within the law.

You can't blame the motorist. It's about time we were not used as a cash cow. People depend on there cars as the public transport is not reliable. The motorist is just an easy target.

You can't blame people for doing this especially the way the government and local councils have behaved with the placement of these cameras...totally unfair sometimes !