DVLA’s figures reveal a drop in the number of penalty points being handed out
According to Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) figures, the number of driving licence penalty points issued to offending drivers fell by 27% in 2017 compared to the year previous.
Their official records have been revealed by 24/7 Vehicle Rescue following a Freedom of Information request.
The records found that drivers accumulated 928,855 penalty points last year compared to 1,266,857 in 2016, with figures from 2014 and 2015 showing a similar level to 2016.
It’s unclear as to why there’s been a decrease in points being handed out but tougher penalties for some offences, such as using a mobile phone behind the wheel, may have resulted in fewer penalties being issued.
According to a number of motoring experts however, they believe the decrease in penalty points being issued to offenders has dropped because the number of traffic officers on the road has been cut, leading to fewer tickets being given out.
In March 2017, the penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving doubled, so instead of being issued with a £100 fine and three points, offending drivers are now faced with the prospect of receiving six points on their licence and a £200 fine.
Some motorists have been left feeling somewhat confused about mobile phone use in their vehicles, as many people now use them as a sat-nav device and are unsure what the laws are relating to using their mobile for route guidance.
The breakdown company also discovered by way of a separate Freedom of Information request that drivers were far more likely to be handed a penalty consisting of points and a fine as opposed to just a fine alone compared to once over – in 2016 a total of 2,244,000 double penalties were issued, whereas in 2011 this figure was much lower at 1,858,000.
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