Company drivers accrued over £9 million in fines in 2014

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Company drivers accrued £9.42 million in motoring-related fines and penalties in 2014 compared to £8.08 million during the previous year, according to the annual Company Driver Fines and Penalties survey from Lex Autolease.

The data, which is compiled from a fleet of 290,000 vehicles, revealed that company drivers committed 20,525 more offences in 2014 compared to 2013, with the total number of offences increasing to 144,955 - up 16%, following a surge in speeding and parking infringements.

Parking fines increased by almost a quarter (23%) to 58,089 last year, mirroring a trend seen amongst non-company drivers, and sparking further debate about whether the rise is due to greater enforcement from local authorities and private parking firms. 

The number of company drivers caught committing endorsable offences such as speeding, driving dangerously, or driving whilst on a mobile phone increased by 16%, from 34,495 in 2013 to 40,001 last year. Those offences are typically more serious in nature and can result in drivers receiving penalty points on their licence or a potential driving ban. 

 

Ultra low emission grant scheme changes

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The Government is changing the qualifying criteria for cars to be eligible for purchasing support under its ultra low emission vehicle plug-in grant scheme.

The Department says the criteria is changing to take account of rapidly developing technology, and the growing range of ultra low emission vehicles on the market - 25 cars with a further 40 models expected in the next three years.

From April 1, eligible car models must meet criteria in one of the following categories depending on emission levels and zero-emission-capable mileage:

  • Category 1: CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range of at least 70 miles
  • Category 2: CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range between 10 and 69 miles
  • Category 3: CO2 emissions of 50-75g/km and a zero emission range of at least 20 miles.

However, from when the new criteria applies, cars will qualify for a 35% grant off the basic price of the car - up from the current 25%, capped at £5,000. The cap will remain at £5,000 for all cars, regardless of which category they are in, until 50,000 grants are issued or 2017, whichever is first.

In May, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles will commence a review of plug-in car grant levels. Following the review, new levels of grant will be available per category. Separately an announcement will be made about the future of the plug-in van grant scheme, but it is not anticipated that the current maximum grant of £8,000 will deteriorate in the foreseeable future.

New drug drive legislation comes into force on Monday (2/3)

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The new drug driving law comes into play on the 2nd March in England and Wales.

It includes prescription drugs however as long as you are following the advice of a healthcare professional and your driving isn't impaired you should be fine

The new law sets limits at very low levels for eight drugs commonly associated with illegal use such as cannabis and cocaine and eight prescription drugs that are included within the new law. They are: Cloanzepam, diazepam, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, temazepam, methadone andmorphine.

There will be a medical defence if a driver has been taking medication as directed and is found to be over the limit, but not impaired. The advice for drivers who are taking prescribed medication at high doses is to carry evidence with them, such as prescriptions slips, when driving in order to minimise any inconvenience should they be asked to take a test by the police.

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