How many times do you hear of somebody being told: “Take the works van – all staff are covered to drive it”.
And how many business car drivers know that vans have lower speed limits, such as 50mph not 60mph on a single carriageway, 60 not 70 on a dual carriageway?
Speeding penalties’ rising scale
- £100 fixed penalty fine + 3 points
- At court, up to 6 points for serious excessive speed + higher fine + court costs + victim surcharge
- Maximum up to £1,000 fine (£2,500 for motorway offences)
- Possible disqualification
And before you laugh off that £100 fixed penalty fine, brace yourself for five years of penance in the form of raised insurance premiums, and, with three points on your licence, being 25% down the road to being put off the road. Banned. A passenger or pedestrian.
Over the past decade speeding has remained the biggest motoring-related offence where the defendant is found guilty, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
Worryingly the number of offenders found guilty has increased dramatically in the last 12 months. In fact there has been a 28 per cent rise in the last year from 115,935 cases to 148,426.
Employers may be held liable
The next highest offence where defendants were found guilty was vehicle insurance-related crimes, although the percentage has fallen dramatically since 2004.
Long life of speeding endorsements
- Speed penalty points endorsed on your licence count for three years but stay on your driving record for four years.
- ‘Totting up’ 12 or more points brings disqualification
- Motoring offences will be taken into account and penalised by insurance companies for five years
Businesses should be concerned about the trend because, according to the Department for Transport, more than a quarter of all traffic incidents are likely to involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.
And health and safety law applies to work activities on the road in the same way as it does to all work activities so companies need to manage the risks as part of their health and safety arrangements.
A survey last year disclosed that almost half of UK motorists who drive for their job admitted to speeding whilst at work, with a quarter saying they are more likely to speed in a vehicle provided by their employer than their own.
And while the company car driver will primarily be held responsible for a speeding offence, employers may also be liable for instance where they set timetables or schedules so tight that the employee will probably be breaking the speed limits if they attempt to meet them.