Why passing speeding points on is a dangerous gamble

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

The accusation made by the estranged wife of the climate change secretary Chris Huhne that he asked her to accept penalty points for speeding in order for him to avoid a driving ban came as another embarrassment for the current government.

But it’s also served as a timely reminder of the dangers of trying to dodge the long arm of the law in order to keep your license or save money on your car insurance.

The Liberal Democrat MP now faces charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice, with his wife, Vicky Pryce, prepared to swear under oath that he asked her to take speeding points that he picked up in 2003 when driving in Essex.

Research by the Automobile Association (AA) reveals that there are over half a million drivers who have six penalty points to their name, but only 91,000 are on nine points. Only 30,000 drivers have amassed the 12 point limit which sees driving bans imposed.

Edmund King, AA president, says "Some of them may have learnt their lesson and slowed down, but the fact the jump down from six to nine is so great, one can surmise not all of them do."

It might seem like a victimless and innocuous crime, but if you’re found out, it could invalidate your car insurance, making obtaining a policy highly expensive in the future.

And while most people won’t be in the public eye like Chris Huhne (who also had a jilted partner who he recently left for another woman) it can be difficult for police to prove that another person has taken the hit on behalf of the offender. But new front-facing speed camera technology is able to capture speeding cars in sufficient detail to differentiate the appearance of the driver, so shifting the blame might not be as easy in the future.