Vehicle finance provider Moneybarn has analysed the latest government data* to reveal which UK areas have the highest number of motoring offences and which offences are the most common.

Motoring offences include but are not limited to speeding, careless driving, not wearing a seat belt, use of hand-held devices and insurance offences. They are categorised as either minor or major and come with their own set of penalties, ranging from an on-the-spot fine to points on your licence or even a prison sentence for the most severe offences.

London Metropolitan drivers received the largest number of fixed penalty notices (FPNS) for motoring offences (233,782) – the equivalent of 640 notices issued each day. West Yorkshire (198,188) and Avon and Somerset (162,726) followed closely, in second and third places respectively.

Area Highest number of FPNs # Area Lowest number of FPNs
London Metropolitan 233,782 1 Gwent 1,874
West Yorkshire 198,188 2 Wiltshire 2,605
Avon and Somerset 162,726 3 Dyfed Powys 2,851
Thames Valley 153,197 4 Cleveland 13,396
Essex 122,871 5 Derbyshire 14,433
Greater Manchester 118,550 6 City of London 14,565
Norfolk 109,189 7 Durham 20,582
West Mercia 97,357 8 Northern Ireland 20,968
Surrey 97,313 9 North Wales 23,645
Lancashire 83,865 10 Gloucestershire 25,489

Speeding offences (144,126) were the main contributing factor to London Metropolitan’s high number of FPNs. Followed by ‘neglect of traffic direction’ offences (34,674) and insurance offences (20,588).

Motoring offences have long been a problem in London, with local police forces regularly implementing new strategies to tackle road danger and enforce its traffic laws. For example, the Vision Zero action plan in 2018 and the Metropolitan Police’s recent Road Crimes Team, launched in March and aimed at tackling London’s most dangerous drivers.

However, despite receiving over 144,000 speeding tickets, motorists from the London Metropolitan area posted only the fourth-worst results across the UK. West Yorkshire posted the highest number of speeding offences in the UK with 181,864, followed by Avon and Somerset (159,210) and Thames Valley (145,447).

Following previous successful safe driving campaigns and to try and tackle the issue of speeding across its cities, West Yorkshire Police will be carrying out increased enforcement activity on its roads, specifically to areas where speeding is a problem.

In contrast, Welsh police force areas dominate the bottom 10 for the lowest number of FPNs issued for motoring offences, with Gwent, Dyfed Powys and North Wales all featuring. County Gwent drivers’ triumph, with just 1,874 FPNs issued overall.

Gwent drivers received low numbers of FPNs across most motoring offences, noise offences (2), vehicle registration offences (55) and seat belt offences (125).

Wiltshire (2,605) and Dyfed Powys (2,851) also feature among the police force areas with the lowest numbers of FPNs issued, in second and third places.

Northern Ireland (20,968) also features in the bottom 10 areas with the lowest number of FPNs issued due to motoring offences. However, driving without insurance is the number one motoring offence in Northern Ireland, with over 8,500 FPNs issued as a result.

Offence type Total number of FPNs issued
Speeding 2,386,672
Neglect of Traffic Direction 98,092
Insurance 74,599
Seat Belt 54,725
Test 43,646
Use of hand-held mobile 40,946
Careless driving 21,653
Vehicle Registration 12,225
Noise 579

When analysing the number of offences across all areas Moneybarn found that speeding is the number one offence in the UK, with over 2.3 million FPNs issued.

Only recently, drivers were caught clocking speeds up to 163mph, proving more needs to be done to tackle speeding on UK roads.

However, steps are being taken to tackle speeding, with local police force areas recently launching a three-week campaign targeting speeding drivers in a bid to keep vulnerable road users, including cyclists, safe.

‘Neglect of traffic direction’ followed in second place, with over 98,000 FPNs issued as a result of drivers failing to comply with traffic directions. This is becoming increasingly concerning, especially as it’s reported only one in ten motorists understand basic UK road traffic signs.

Insurance (74,599), seat belt (54,725) and test offences (43,646) complete the top five motoring offences with the highest number of FPNs issued.

Tim Schwarz, Head of Marketing at Moneybarn, commented on the findings:

It’s always surprising to see such a high number of UK motorists receiving driving fines, despite the government’s efforts to implement stricter penalties for offending drivers.

 

“It’s clear more needs to be done by the relevant authorities to bring these numbers down. However, motorists can also play their part in tackling dangerous driving by reporting any incidents they see to their local authorities.”

 

To find out more, you can find the full data analysis here