April 28, 2017

Tough new driving laws could spell trouble for van drivers

van drivers

Van drivers who break the law are to face harsh new punishments starting this spring. Drivers who are caught using a mobile phone or speeding will now face higher penalties than ever before.

Van drivers beware

In particular, van drivers caught speeding could face more serious punishments following new guidelines set by the Sentencing Council. Committing either of the aforementioned offences in a public service vehicle or light or heavy goods vehicle is now considered to be more serious in the eyes of magistrates.

Speeding offences will now be split into three categories – the first, Band A, will carry the standard 3 points. Band B will carry a potential driving ban of 28 days. In addition, from March 1st 2017 the penalties for using a mobile phone at the wheel will double to £200 along with an endorsement of 6 penalty points – as announced last year.

Higher fines for the worst speeders will follow. Exceeding 100mph on the motorway is an obvious category, but drivers travelling at 41mph in a 20mph zone will also be susceptible to a big financial penalty for example. Exceeding 30mph in such a zone can be disqualified for anything from 7 to 28 days.

Under these new rules, young drivers are at greater risk of losing their licence and having to re-sit their tests. Any driver who receives 6 points in the first two years after obtaining their licence is automatically disqualified, with their licence rescinded. Currently, the limit is 12 points over a three-year period for those with more than two years’ driving experience.

Last year, smart cameras on motorways caught over 1,000 offenders per week. Offenders whose crime falls into Band C can now be fined 150% of their weekly income – capped at £1,000 or £2,500 on a motorway.

“A clear deterrent and penalty”

The Sentencing Council wants to ensure a “clear increase in penalty” as the seriousness of the offence increases. See the breakdown below:

Speed limit (mph) Recorded speed (mph)
20 41 and above 31-40 21-30
30 51 and above 41-50 31-40
40 66 and above 56-65 41-55
50 76 and above 66-75 51-65
60 91 and above 81-90 61-80
70 101 and above 91-100 71-90
Sentencing range Band C fine Band B fine Band A fine
Points/disqualification Disqualified 7-56 days or 6 points Disqualified 7-28 days or 4-6 points 3 points