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Van and speed sign
Too many points on your licence means disqualification – no joke if you drive as part of your job

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.

Frustrated worker
Drivers are personally liable for fines, but if the offence involves the vehicle the employer may get a summons too

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.)

OffencePenalty
*Causing death by dangerous drivingMax. 14 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years)
*Dangerous drivingMax. 2 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification
*Causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugsMax. 14 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years)
Careless and inconsiderate drivingMax. £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification / 3 to 9 points
Drink/drug drivingMax. 6 months’ imprisonment / Max. £5,000 fine / Obligatory disqualification
Failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accidentMax. 6 months’ imprisonment / Max. £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification / 5 to 10 points
Driving while disqualifiedMax. 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 groundsMax. 6 months’ imprisonment / Max. £5,000 fine plus 3 to 6 points / Discretionary disqualification
Driving without insuranceMax. 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 drivingMax. £1,000 fine (£2,500 for PCV or goods vehicle) / Discretionary disqualification
Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licenceMost are £60 plus points, max £1,000 fine plus 3 to 6 points / Discretionary disqualification
Unroadworthy vehicleMax. £200 plus penalty points
SpeedingMax. £1,000 fine (£2,500 for motorway offences) plus 3 to 6 points / Discretionary disqualification
Traffic-light offencesMax. £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 certificateMax. £1,000 fine
Failure to display VED/number plate offencesBetween £30 and £60, no points
Seat belt offencesMax. £500 fine
Failure to comply with drivers hoursUp to £200
Failing to identify driver of vehicleMax. £1,000 fine plus 6 points / Discretionary disqualification

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