Top Ten Motoring Offences

Top Ten Motoring OffencesFailing to provide driver information

When you commit an offence, you will receive an S172 request.

You will receive 6 penalty points for not returning the form. The available defences you can use are S172(4) and s172(7)(b) RTA 1988. A defence is valid if you demonstrate that you have used reasonable diligence to track down who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, or that you have never received the request form to provide the necessary information.

No insurance

The offence of driving without insurance, assumes the drivers guilt in the first instance. If you plead guilty or are convicted, your licence will be endorsed with 6 – 8 points. It is quite common for a policy to be cancelled due to a missing payment, and for the driver to be unaware that they are not legally covered.

A special reasons argument can be used if you can show the court that you genuinely and honestly believed that you had insurance in place.


The penalty for speeding offences is 3 – 6 points, a discretionary ban if warranted by your offence, court costs as well as a fine.

S89 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 contains the law on speeding offences.

Contesting speeding allegations has become more difficult recently following recent case law, meaning that you now need to provide expert evidence if you are going to be successful.

Drink driving

The legal drink driving limit is 35mg in breath.

Drink driving carries a minimum driving ban of 12 months. The three defences for drink driving are that you were not the driver of the vehicle, you were not driving in a public place, or that you didn’t drink alcohol until after you had finished driving.

Avoiding a drink driving ban is also possible if you are able to prove that you unwittingly drank the alcohol, that it was an emergency situation or that you only drove a short distance.

If you have been stopped for drinking and driving in the London area then you need to speak to specialist drink driving solicitors London who will be able to help you to keep on the road.

Drunk in charge of a vehicle

To be found guilty, the prosecution need to show that you were above the legal drink drive limit and that you were in charge of the vehicle at that time. A defence for drunk in charge is to show the court that you didn’t plan to drive until you were under the drink drive limit.

If you are found guilty then you face 10 points and a discretionary driving ban.

Mobile phone

A mobile phone offence is deemed to have been committed if you are holding & using the phone while driving. Using a mobile can be a grey area and consequently some courts have differing opinions on the offence. Being stationary at traffic lights or in a temporary hold up is still classed as driving.

Driving without due care and attention

Your driving level needs to be proved to have dropped below the level of a competent and careful driver if you are to be convicted of driving without due care and attention. Motoring offences covered by driving without due care include things such as low speed car park bumps, scrapes and dings, as well as undertaking on a motorway.

At the discretion of the police you can be offered a Driver Improvement Course instead of prosecution.

Failing to stop/report an accident

If following an accident, damage was caused to property, a person or another vehicle, then you are legal under a duty in accordance with S170 RTA 1988 to stop and exchange details. After an accident, you have up to 24 hours to report the accident to the police if you were not able to exchange your details at the time.

Carrying 5 – 10 penalty points or a discretionary ban this is a serious offence. If you don’t know damage has been caused, you have a defence if you can show it was reasonable you didn’t know that you had been involved in an accident.

Dangerous driving

To gain a conviction against you, the prosecution needs to establish that at the time of the offence, your driving standard fell far below that required, and also that it was obvious to any competent and careful driver that the driving was dangerous. This is a serious motoring offence and as such carries a minimum 12 months driving licence ban, which includes an extended re-test before you can drive again, as well as a possible prison sentence if your circumstances warrant it.

No licence

This offence causes confusion.

If you are not displaying L plates and have never passed a driving test then this is an example of an endorseable offence. Should the DVLA request that you return your driving licence to them and they suspend your driving entitlement, this would be non-endorseable. It’s not the case that your insurance is invalid in the case of ‘no insurance’ offences, this is a misnomer.