YOU might want to think about carelessly driving in a bus lane or parking in illegal spaces as 2016 saw another rise in the number of motoring fines for driving indiscretions.
The number of fines incurred by company car and van drivers rose 21% year-on-year according to annual figures from Lex Autolease.
Drivers racked up a £14 million bill last year, an increase of more than 26% on 2015 and represent a steep rise from the £7 million accrued in 2012 according to the research of 353,000 company vehicles in operation across the UK.
Research also revealed the number of parking offences committed by company car drivers increased by more than 34% in 2016 and the cost for businesses rose by the same amount to £6 million.
Lex Autolease says a clampdown on bus lane infringements and illegal parking by local government is largely behind the rise.
The number of company car drivers caught by bus lane cameras rose by 27% last year compared with the previous 12 months, with the value of the fines rising by more than 37% over the period.
Tim Porter, managing director at Lex Autolease, said: “The local government clampdown on ‘minor’ motoring offences is behind the increase, and UK businesses are footing the bill. There is now a greater need to take action to change driver behaviour, such as providing additional education and training.
“Organisations can better understand how the increase in fines and penalties impacts their business by benchmarking their data against similar fleets. Businesses can also look to put in place straight-forward driver policies and procedures to help reduce the risk and bring down the bill.”
A surge in penalty receipts for the Dart charge – a congestion charge for the Dartford crossing – also made a significant contribution. The charge accounted for 14% of the total offences committed by company car drivers in 2016.
The introduction of number plate recognition, which replaced the old system of paying at booths in 2014, saw collections rise 55% year-on year, costing UK firms £736,244 in the 12 months to December.
The frequency of more serious endorsable offences grew at a much slower rate last year, with penalties for speeding, using a mobile phone behind the wheel and dangerous driving rising by just 5% in 2016; just under a fifth of the total offences recorded.
In total, company drivers committed 40,647 more offences in 2016 than in 2015, bringing the overall figure to 238,833.
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