12 key offences you should know about…

You may not be aware of the penalties that can be dished out if you break the rules on the road and how easy it is to notch up enough points to loose your licence.

The new drivers act was introduced in 1995 and cut the number of points from 12 to 6 in the first two years. This is called the probationary period and applies to anyone gaining a new licence regardless of age or experience. Any points that are issued when you are learning are carried over to your full licence so you don’t start with a clean slate.

It’s easy to get caught breaking the rules, get caught and you will get points and this could push up your insurance premium in the process. Drive sensibly and you will be okay. Fixed penalties issued at the road side will cost you on average three points and £100 fine, but many of us are unaware of the maximum penalties that can be issued if we are taken to court so here are some examples that might make you think twice before driving badly on the road.

1.  SPEED – at least three points and £100 fine. Contest it when you’re in the wrong and you’ll get up to six points and possibly a £1,000 fine; go crazy on the motorway and you could be fined £2,500 and get an unlimited ban.

2.  FAIL TO STOP AT A ZEBRA CROSSING – an automatic three points plus a fine of up to £1,000.

3.  USING A MOBILE HAND-HELD – three points plus £100 fine. Crash while texting or making a call and you’ll almost certainly go to jail if you kill someone.

4. DANGEROUS OVERTAKING – you could be done for driving without due care and attention, which means a fine of up to £2,500 and 3-9 points.

5.  NO INSURANCE – a fine of up to £5,000 plus 6-8 points, you could be banned indefinitely and might have to sit a retest.

6.  DRINK OR DRUG DRIVING – a guaranteed 12 month minimum ban, you can also be jailed for up to six months and fined up to £5,000. And if you can find any affordable insurance after all this, you’ll be doing well.

7. FAILING TO STOP AFTER AN ACCIDENT – cause personal injury to someone, and you must give your details, then report the incident at a police station. Fail to do so and you could be banned from driving. Either way you’ll get 5-10 points plus a fine of up to £5,000.

8. DEFECTIVE TYRES – if they’re flat, bald or damaged, you can get a £2,500 fine and three points — for each tyre.

9. RUN A RED LIGHT – you’re guaranteed three points plus £100 fine.

10.  NOT IN PROPER CONTROL – anything from eating, smoking or drinking to shaving, reading or using a laptop while driving means three points and a £100 fine.

11.  MOT – you could be fined up to £1,000. However, no MOT can mean you also have no insurance…

12. NO DRIVING LICENCE – you’ll get 3-6 points, get a fine of up to £1,000, and if driving while disqualified you can be jailed for six months, fined £5,000 and banned indefinitely.

So, take note and be sensible or be prepared to loose your licence and a load of cash. Remeber six points in your first two years of driving and your licence will be automatically revoked, meaning you will be a learner again and have to re-take both the theory and practical driving test!