Have the new driving laws had an impact?
- It’s been over a year since the new laws for speeding and mobile phone use behind the wheel were introduced, but have they really made a difference?
Leading car warranty provider, Warranty Direct has analysed Ministry of Justice data from over the past five years, to reveal what impact the new laws have had on the driving behaviours of the general public.
While it might seem extreme that driving laws are becoming increasingly stricter, research has shown how important it is for laws to be in place to prevent reckless driving.
With alarming statistics on the rise, March 2017, saw higher fines issued to people caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel. Punishments were doubled from three points to six points on your licence and a fine of £200 up from £100.
Laws against speeding were also updated on 24 April 2017. Fines increased from a minimum of £100 to up to 150% of a person’s weekly wage. You could also expect to receive up to 6 points on your licence, depending on how much over the speed limit you are caught driving.
To find out how successful these new laws have been at reducing dangerous activity behind the wheel, Warranty Direct compared the number of fines issued before and after the updates were introduced.
The tables below show the number of fines issued from May to December 2017, compared with the number of fines issued in the same period in previous years.
|Date range||Quantity of fines for speeding|
|May- Dec 2013||75428|
|May- Dec 2014||101823|
|May- Dec 2015||111067|
|May- Dec 2016||110863|
|May- Dec 2017||101654|
The number of speeding fines issued annually between 2013 and 2016 increased 68%, rising steadily (or remaining the same) year on year. After the new fines were introduced, not only did the number of fines stop increasing, but they even dropped by 8.5%.
2017 data recorded the lowest number of fines for 4 years, and if this drop continues next year, the number issued for speeding will drop below 100,000 for the first time since 2013 (to 93,000).
|Date range||Quantity of fines for mobile usage|
|Mar- Dec 2013||14974|
|Mar- Dec 2014||14970|
|Mar- Dec 2015||14027|
|Mar- Dec 2016||11052|
|Mar- Dec 2017||6175|
Fines for using a mobile phone while driving decreased even more dramatically. The number issued dropped 44% in 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, and by 59% compared to 5 years prior in 2013.
It’s clear from this steep decline, drivers have taken note of the updated punishments for breaking the latest driving laws and being more cautious on the roads.
Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct commented on the findings:
“It’s great to see these updated driving laws have had a significant, positive impact on driving behaviours, in such a short space of time.
“I don’t believe it’s just the increased financial penalties influencing people’s driving behaviour either, as motoring authorities have increased their efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of unsafe driving.
“We fully support any new measures which, make our roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians. I believe more motorists are truly beginning to understand the consequences of speeding and using their mobile phones at the wheel.”