THE UK driving licence system works on a points basis – too many points, and a driver can get disqualified for a while. Not so good if driving is vital to making a living.
If you are convicted of a driving offence, you must tell your employer
If you work as a van driver for an employer remember that any offence, in or out of working hours, in company vans or your own vehicle, will be added to your driving licence.
Your employer may not be able to keep you on if you get more than 12 points and are forced to surrender your licence.
If you are convicted of a driving offence, you must tell your employer – though if it occurs in a company vehicle, the chances are any correspondence will go straight to the business.
Failure to do so may invalidate your employer’s insurance and that could get you in even deeper trouble!
Another downside is that you personally will be liable to pay any fines. In law, more often than not, it is the responsibility of the driver, not your employer, to settle any fines issued as a result of an offence.
Once a ticket has been issued, you have up to 28 days to pay. If you fail to pay during this time, the fine may increase by 50 per cent. For offences detected by cameras, you will receive a ticket thorough the post, requiring you to submit your licence to have any points added.
Fixed penalties can be issued by the police, VOSA or, to a limited extent, Civil Enforcement Officers.
It is the enforcing officer’s discretion whether to issue a ticket for a fixed penalty offence or to report the driver for prosecution. You can, of course, challenge a ticket by requesting a court hearing if you feel you have good reason to do so.
However, court costs can easily mount up, and you may be responsible for these if you are eventually found guilty of the alleged offence.
Some offences are classed as dual-liability. This is where both driver and company are liable – this is particularly relevant for cases regarding vehicle condition. In a case such as this, the driver could receive a ticket, but the employer would receive a summons.
For details on the severity of the different offences, and what the expected penalty could be, check the table below.
(* Where a court disqualifies a person for one of these offences, it must order an extended retest. The courts also have discretion to order a retest for any other offence which carries penalty points, an extended retest where disqualification is obligatory, and an ordinary test where disqualification is not obligatory.)
|*Causing death by dangerous driving||Max. 14 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years)|
|*Dangerous driving||Max. 2 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification|
|*Causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs||Max. 14 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years)|
|Careless and inconsiderate driving||Max. £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification / 3 to 9 points|
|Drink/drug driving||Max. 6 months’ imprisonment / Max. £5,000 fine / Obligatory disqualification|
|Failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident||Max. 6 months’ imprisonment / Max. £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification / 5 to 10 points|
|Driving while disqualified||Max. 6 months’ imprisonment (12 months in Scotland) / Max. £5,000 fine and 6 points / Discretionary disqualification|
|Driving after refusal or revocation of licence on medical grounds||Max. 6 months’ imprisonment / Max. £5,000 fine plus 3 to 6 points / Discretionary disqualification|
|Driving without insurance||Max. fines: LGV £5,000, PCV £5,000, Other £2,500 / Obligatory disqualification (6 months minimum) if offence committed within 3 years of a previous conviction for the same offence – otherwise discretionary / 3 points for each case|
|Failure to have proper control of vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead, or using a hand-held mobile phone when driving||Max. £1,000 fine (£2,500 for PCV or goods vehicle) / Discretionary disqualification|
|Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence||Most are £60 plus points, max £1,000 fine plus 3 to 6 points / Discretionary disqualification|
|Unroadworthy vehicle||Max. £200 plus penalty points|
|Speeding||Max. £1,000 fine (£2,500 for motorway offences) plus 3 to 6 points / Discretionary disqualification|
|Traffic-light offences||Max. £1,000 fine plus 3 points / Discretionary disqualification|
|Traffic sign offences (one way streets, stop signs etc)||Most are £60 plus 3 points|
|Parking and stopping||£30, £40 or £60 fine with penalty points for certain offences|
|No MOT certificate||Max. £1,000 fine|
|Failure to display VED/number plate offences||Between £30 and £60, no points|
|Seat belt offences||Max. £500 fine|
|Failure to comply with drivers hours||Up to £200|
|Failing to identify driver of vehicle||Max. £1,000 fine plus 6 points / Discretionary disqualification|