'300,000' cheat on penalty points
Published 31/08/2011 | 00:22
An estimated 300,000 drivers may have accepted penalty points on behalf of someone else in the past decade, a survey has suggested.
The research also found that one in 20 drivers would be willing to take on points for a friend or relative, with two-thirds of those saying they would do it to stop the other driver being disqualified.
Motorists who are caught speeding receive three to 12 points per conviction, and anyone with a total of 12 points is usually banned from driving.
It is against the law to accept another driver's points, and police hope the trial introduction of new video speed guns will make it more difficult to lie about who was behind the wheel.
John O'Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, which commissioned the research, said: "Penalty points are designed to deter drivers from repeatedly breaking the law and to penalise those who do.
"Police know that drivers take on points and have direct access to the DVLA data where they can look at anyone's driving record to compare photos.
"Swapping points is more serious than people realise and it will be much harder for them to get away with it once the new speed cameras are rolled out."
The survey found that 1% of 2,031 drivers questioned had taken on another driver's points since 2001. ICM, who conducted the study, estimated that there are 36.6 million drivers in the UK, which means over 300,000 could have accepted someone else's points over the past decade.