Hear the words “penalty points” and one offence springs to mind – speeding. But speeding is by no means the only motoring offence for which drivers can receive points.

Receiving penalty points can cause huge issues for drivers. If you have held your licence for less than 2 years, receiving six penalty points will see your licence revoked and you will need to retake both your theory and practical driving tests. For all other drivers, receiving 12 points within 3 years will leave you facing a 6 month mandatory disqualification unless you can persuade the Court that it would cause exceptional hardship to you or others who depend upon you.

At Keep Me on the Road we want drivers to know the law so they may avoid any surprise penalty points! Here are some motoring offences to watch out for…

Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position – 3 points

Leaving your vehicle parked on a blind bend is not merely inconvenient to other drivers but a highly dangerous offence for which you could receive 3 penalty points! The law states that a person is guilty of this where they cause or permit a vehicle they are in charge of to rest in a way that endangers other persons using the road – this means that you will still be guilty even if no actual injury has been caused as a result.

Permitting another to drive without insurance – 6 – 8 points

Driving a vehicle without insurance is punishable by 6 -8 points or a disqualification, but did you know that allowing an uninsured driver to drive your vehicle could you see you face exactly the same penalty? Before you ever lend your car to someone, check that they are insured on it!

Using a vehicle with defective tyres – 3 points

A tyre may be deemed defective where it fails to meet the required standard of pattern or depth tread. For example, a tyre with a cut of more than 25mm or a tread depth of less than 1.6mm. 3 points can be issued for each offence (that is each defective tyre) so having four defective tyres could bring you up to the totting up limit of 12 points at which point you will face a mandatory 6 month driving ban.

Drunk in charge of a motor vehicle – 10 points or a discretionary disqualification

As well as driving a vehicle whilst drunk it is an offence to be in charge of a vehicle if you are over the permitted alcohol limit. Sleeping in your car after a night out drinking could easily see you prosecuted for this offence. No definition of ‘in charge’ has been set by the courts but being in the vehicle having the keys is enough of a basis for the police to consider prosecution. The court will consider factors including whether there was any intention to take some form of control of the vehicle, what the individual was doing at the time. The only defence to this charge is to prove that there was no intention or likelihood of the vehicle being driven whilst the driver was over the prescribed limit. Beware those of you who like to ‘sleep it off’ in your car…

Unlawful pillion riding – 3 points

Motorcyclists are permitted to carry passengers on a securely fitted pillion seat. The pillion (passenger) must be able to sit astride the pillion seat and place their feet securely on the footrests. Where a passenger cannot do this the offence is committed.

For the full list of endorsements visit the Government website.

If you have committed a motoring offence and need advice contact our experienced motoring lawyers on 0800 046 3066