A survey has found that nearly one in five drivers has taken penalty points for another motorist.
Nineteen per cent of motorists admitted to accepting penalty points for someone else, with 49 per cent of these drivers doing so on behalf of their partner.
The survey, commissioned by Co-Op Insurance, found that 28 per cent of men had taken penalty points on behalf of another driver, compared to just 10 per cent of women.
The most common reason why drivers illegally accepted points was as there would be no financial burden on their insurance premiums compared to the driver who was caught. This was closely followed by helping another motorist avoid a driving ban in second and third for financial gain – the average gain being £220.
Some 2,000 UK adults were questioned as part of the research.
Head of motor insurance at Co-op, Nick Ansley, said: “It’s surprising and quite concerning that a fifth of motorists have taken penalty points for someone else.
“We want to ensure people are safe on the roads and whilst some drivers may think they’re helping out another, by swapping penalty points, they’re putting themselves and others at risk.”
Motorists found to have illegally accepted another drivers’ points face prosecution if caught for perverting the course of justice, with the maximum sentence for this being life imprisonment.
The most prolific case of this came in 2013 when former cabin minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce were jailed for eight months after Pryce accepted speeding penalty points for Huhne in 2003.
Drivers face disqualification if they rack up 12 points on their licence at any one time, with new drivers being most at risk, as just six points on their licence within two years of passing their test can lead to them having their licence revoked. This means if they are caught just once using their mobile phone, for example, while at the wheel, they can be disqualified from driving.
June 21, 2018