COMMERCIAL vehicle owners need to ensure they stay on the right side of the law or risk a heavy fine on the roads.
Leasing giant LeaseVan.co.uk has highlighted the potential costs of failing to observe motoring laws and pointed out that penalties can range from a £2,500 maximum fine for speeding to a £20 on-the-spot ticket for leaving a vehicle’s engine running.
Here are the costs of some of the most common motoring offences;
- Speeding: New laws put forward last year have increased fines for serious speeding offences. A £100 fine and three penalty points on the driver’s licence was the maximum penalty speeders faced. Now, fines have been split into three bands, A, B and C, where the most serious Band C offences carry a maximum fine of £2,500. Most Band C cases will now take the equivalent of 150% of a prosecuted driver’s weekly income – which is no small fee. For example, someone earning a salary of £25,000 a year will have to hand over a minimum of £720, plus six penalty points for the pleasure.
- Mobile Phone: Drivers could get a £200 fine and six penalty points on a licence, if caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving. The maximum fine for this offence is £1000 if the driver is taken to court. It is also important to be aware that drivers can still be prosecuted even if you are using a mobile phone in your van while stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
- Failing to stop at traffic lights: Being an amber gambler might save two minutes on a commute to work but could also end up being a £100 fine with three penalty points. If a motorist has failed to stop at a red light they may be offered to participate on a driver awareness course as an alternative. However, the course will still cost around £90 so don’t take the chance.
- Careless driving: Driving in an inconsiderate fashion could get drivers an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three points on their licence. In West Yorkshire, a man was fined almost £1000 and given five penalty points for hogging the middle lane on the motorway.
- Smoking inside a vehicle: An inconspicuous offence but one that could cost van drivers an on-the-spot fine of £50. If an apprentice or anyone else under the age of 18 is in the van while a driver or passenger smokes, it is illegal.
- Switching off the engine: A lesser known law but one that van drivers should be aware of is when the driver is sitting in their van – either eating lunch or waiting for another worker – they must turn their engine off. If not the driver could face an on-the-spot fine of £20.