According to figures obtained by the IAM from the Ministry of Justice, the number of people convicted of a speeding offence in the last 12 months has gone up by 28 per cent. The increase, from 115,935 to 148,426, is also the highest figure since 2005.
More and more motorists have also been charged for vehicle insurance offences, with 118,254 people found guilty in court. While this figure is up 7 per cent from 2013, it is actually 84 per cent down on a decade ago. Failing to supply driver identify information when required has seen a 7 per cent increase from 50,687 to 54,372 since 2013 too.
However, other road-related crimes such as vehicle registration and excise license offences as well as driving with alcohol in the blood above the prescribed limit have both come down.
Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “We can see from these figures that as the UK comes out of recession traffic levels have risen, speeding appears to be becoming more prevalent and regrettably casualties are rising again.On a positive note, the joining up of databases across agencies and the increased use of number plate recognition cameras means some motoring crimes have fallen in big numbers.”
What does this mean for fleet operators?
Drivers that have been convicted of speeding are clearly a big concern for fleet managers and decision makers, as it could affect insurance premiums or even lead to disqualifications.
To safeguard against this, the Department for Transport says some fleet operators set a maximum number of points that a driver may amass before undergoing training or an assessment. Disciplinary action is a distinct possibility too.
Other than speeding, offences with a large number of guilty verdicts, which could also have an impact on fleet operators, include neglecting road regulations at 16,951, using or causing others to use a mobile phone whilst driving at 16,025, and driving licence-related offences at 15,982.
Although government and police force campaigns are attempting to educate drivers about speeding, drink driving, and using a mobile phone behind the wheel, fleet operators must also take responsibility for these issues. After all, if an employee is involved in a serious accident and does not possess a full, valid or appropriate licence, the blame for this failing rests not only with the driver, but also the fleet manager and company directors.