The severe consequences of letting other drivers take the rap on fines and penalty points

MOTORING lawyer Oliver Gardner is urging drivers that are thinking of letting others taking the rap to avoid points on their licences to think again.

The emerging allegations that Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, had asked someone else to take the blame for a driving offence, back in 2003, to avoid points on his licence has brought the issue to light again.

A survey by Churchill Insurance of 2,000 drivers found that 2.2 per cent admitted to taking points on behalf of their partner. With 33 million licence-holders in the UK, it’s equivalent to 726,000 drivers nationwide.

Moreover, a third said that they would consider asking their partners to admit to their speeding offence if it prevented them from losing their licence.

Oliver Gardner who runs his own motoring law specialist practice Howards Solicitors comments: “The consequences of getting caught might be seen as remote, but for those that are found out it can lead to severe repercussions.”

Gardner continues: “It is not just the speeding motorist, but also those who volunteer to take the rap that can also face serious charges in court if found out.”

Abdul Musa, a garage mechanic, earned £24,000 during a four period by helping motorists avoid penalties and fines with fake aliases. In 2009 he earned a 16-month custodial sentence as a result. 12 people who passed on their fines gained criminal records and suspended sentences.

Oliver Gardner concludes: “It is all too easy to forget that a criminal record can have major repercussions that can come back to haunt offenders years later. Those thinking of passing responsibility for their actions have to ask, “Is it really worth the risk?””

Gardner advises: “If a motorist is at risk of losing his or her licence as a result of an accumulation of minor offences it will not necessarily lead to a driving ban. Courts weigh up the factors involved such as potential loss of livelihood and use their discretion and judgement. The system is not inflexible and unsympathetic to an individual’s circumstances.

Moreover, many drivers forget penalties and fines can be appealed.”