New research has exposed the UK locations where drivers have the greatest chance of being issued with a fixed penalty notice for a driving offence – and it doesn’t look good for motorists in Avon and Somerset.
According to analysis of 2.7million FPNs dished out by police forces across the country last year, it’s the area where the most fines and penalty points were handed out per 10,000 drivers registered there – predominantly because of speeding offences.
Want to see which driving offences are prevalent in your area? This interactive map reveals all:
The analysis was conducted by private number plate specialists Regtransfers who crunched the numbers provided by official government sources in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
To better understand the ratio of penalty notices to road users, it worked out the number of fines per 10,000 motorists in each region and then listed the 10 locations where drivers are most likely to flout the law and get caught for it.
To drill down further into the data, Regtransfers individually reviewed the figures for seven of the major driving offences.
These were speeding, failure to wear a seatbelt, driving with no insurance, running red lights and ignoring road signs, using the phone behind the wheel, parking offences and careless driving.
The research found that Avon and Somerset has the worst driving record overall, with nearly 200,000 offences in total.
According to the study, it means for every 10,000 drivers in Avon and Somerset, 1,785 received a fixed penalty notice last year.
Next on the list was Cumbria with 1,455 drivers per 10,000 picking up an FPN last year, followed by Warwickshire (1,410), Norfolk (1.388) and Bedfordshire (1,385).
Top 10 areas for the most driving offences per 10,000 motorists
1. Avon and Somerset – 1,785 offences per 10,000 drivers
2. Cumbria – 1,455 offences per 10,000 drivers
3. Warwickshire – 1,410 offences per 10,000 drivers
4. Norfolk – 1,388 offences per 10,000 drivers
5. Bedfordshire – 1,385 offences per 10,000 drivers
6. Northamptonshire – 1,231 offences per 10,000 drivers
7. Humberside – 1,148 offences per 10,000 drivers
8. Lincolnshire – 1,124 offences per 10,000 drivers
9. West Yorkshire – 1,120 offences per 10,000 drivers
10. Merseyside – 1,107 offences per 10,000 drivers
Scotland and Northern Ireland – whose data wasn’t available at a regional breakdown – didn’t make it into the top 10, though that could be because more granular information wasn’t given.
Last year, the RAC Foundation said drivers receive an FPN every 2.5 seconds, suggesting that almost a third of Britain’s 40million motorists are being hit with fines annually.
Here are the locations that racked up the most penalty notices from police forces last year:
Exceeding the speed limit is the most common driving offence across the whole of the UK, based on this data.
Drivers in Avon and Somerset racked up the most speeding fines, with 1,657 offences per 10,000 drivers.
Cumbria (1,383 per 10,000 drivers) and Warwickshire (1,311 per 10,000 drivers) had the second and third worst speed limit-breaking records in the country.
The stats suggest the traffic officer presence in Suffolk is pretty low.
The figures show that just seven FPNs in total were dished out in total for speeding in the area last year.
1. Avon and Somerset – 1,657 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
2. Cumbria – 1,383 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
3. Warwickshire – 1,311 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
4. Bedfordshire – 1,304 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
5. Norfolk – 1,138 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
Where are the highest proportion of careless driving?
The law was updated on careless driving in August 2013 so that it included a number of driving misdemeanors that were previous difficult to punish.
This includes dangerous undertaking and middle-lane hogging on the motorway.
The data shows that last year there were more careless driving penalty notices in Scotland than any other area in the country.
A total of 11,890 penalty notices were issued, which works out at 36 per 10,000 drivers in the country.
Essex and Northern Ireland were a close second and third.
1. Scotland – 36 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
2. Essex – 32 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
3. Northern Ireland – 30 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
4. Humberside – 20 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
5. Cheshire – 13 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
Areas you’re most likely to share the road with unlicensed and uninsured drivers
Scotland is also the number one hotspot for driving without a licence or insurance (139 per 10,000 drivers), the data shows.
In fact, they had more than double the amount of penalty notices issued compared to London per the number of motorists in the region.
Still, the capital had enough to come in second place, with 61 offences per 10,000 drivers.
Police Scotland launched a crackdown on uninsured drivers earlier this year in a bid to reduce the numbers.
According to the Motor Insurance Bureau, more than 29,000 people are injured every year by uninsured drivers in the UK.
1. Scotland – 139 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
2. London – 61 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
3. Humberside – 55 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
4. Norfolk – 53 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
5. Cambridgeshire – 41 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
Where you’re most likely to get caught using the phone at the wheel
Although being caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel dropped by 47 per cent in 2017, it still didn’t stop some drivers reaching for their handheld device.
More than 25,000 penalty notices were issued in London last year for drivers caught illegally using their mobile phones.
That works out as 52 offences per 10,000 drivers, making London the number one hotspot.
Norfolk and Thames Valley came in joint second place with the same 50 offences per 10,000 drivers on police records.
1. London – 52 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
2. Norfolk – 50 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
3. Thames Valley – 50 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
4. Northern Ireland – 47 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
5. Essex – 41 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
Where most red lights and road signs are ignored
Leicestershire drivers are most likely to hit the accelerator when the lights change to red, says the research.
For every 10,000 drivers in the area, 131 were ticketed for running a red light or ignoring ‘no entry’ signs.
Drivers in Greater Manchester, Avon and Somerset, Merseyside and South Yorkshire were also among those most likely to receive a FPN for this offence.
Between 51 and 85 drivers per 10,000 motorists were caught jumping the lights in those locations.
Scotland didn’t provide data for this offence type.
1. Leicestershire – 131 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
2. Greater Manchester – 85 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
3. Avon and Somerset – 73 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
4. Merseyside – 71 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
5. South Yorkshire – 51 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
The places where bad parkers are fined by police
If you’re a driver in Gwent, you’re more at risk of a parking fine issued by the police than anywhere else in the UK, with drivers receiving a total of 6,500 penalty notices in 2017 (that works out at 178 notices issued for every 10,000 drivers).
Suffolk was the second-most likely place for motorists to be fined over parking by an officer, with penalties reaching a total of 3021 (that’s 58 notices for every 10,000 drivers). Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Thames Valley made up the remaining hotspots.
Figures are substantially higher if you include the number of FPNs issued by location authorities.
Scotland didn’t provide data for this offence type.
1. Gwent – 178 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
2. Suffolk – 58 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
3. Cambridgeshire – 51 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
4. Northamptonshire – 43 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
5. Thames Valley – 30 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
Locations with the most unbuckled drivers and passenger
Essex is the UK hotspot for drivers being pulled over for not wearing seatbelts, with 5,819 penalty notices issued in total (47 for every 10,000 drivers).
North Wales, Thames Valley, West Yorkshire and Lancashire also made the top 5 regions for seatbelt offences.
These are significantly lower that the number of drivers being caught speeding.
For instance, you’re 35 times more likely to receive a FPN for exceeding the limit in Avon and Somerset than you are for not wearing your seatbelt in Essex.
1. Essex – 47 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
2. North Wales – 44 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
3. Thames Valley – 38 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
4. West Yorkshire – 36 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
5. Lancashire – 30 FPNs per 10,000 drivers
London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds are the UK’s clocked-car hotspots, study claims
Some 18% of cars in London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester that were reviewed by Carly – Connected Car were found to have altered mileage
If you thought clocking cars was a thing of the past, think again.
Now that vehicle primarily use digital displays, criminals have found ways of altering the mileage displayed in cars to improve the value of the vehicles.
And new research has identified the top four UK hotspots where the most clocked cars are hiding.
According to Carly-Connected Car, which specialises in mobile car electronics, 15 per cent of vehicles across the UK are displaying the incorrect mileage.
However, in four locations that figure rises to 18 per cent,
According to the data collected from a study of over 150,000 vehicles in the UK, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds were identified as the top four overall UK regions for mileage fraud.
The car electronic company said: ‘One of the reasons for the rise in mileage fraud is likely to be the increasing popularity of affordable car finance plans.
‘Personal Contract Purchases and Personal Contract Hire deals often come with strict mileage limits where each additional mile can be charged at as much as 30p.
‘This has led to some owners turning to ‘mileage correction’ firms that offer to dial back the odometer to avoid expensive financial penalties.’
CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST