August 07, 2017

Van drivers – A guide to penalty points and endorsements

van driving tips

Van drivers beware! If you don’t obey the rules of the road, you may be subject to penalty points, endorsements or even driving bans. Vansdirect reveals all!

Endorsements

If you receive an endorsement as a van driver, you are given a specific code and penalty points are incurred based on a scale of 1 to 11. These can stay on your driving licence for between 4 and 11 years (depending on the scale of the offence). Some offences can also lead to a driving ban. Endorsements that we will discuss, include: Accidents, drink driving, drugs, speeding offences, traffic direction and driving without due care and attention.

Accident van driving offences

The following are offences in relation to accidents:
• Failing to stop after an accident
• Failing to give details or report an accident within 1 day
Both of which can give between 5 and 10 penalty points and will remain against your driving licence for 4 years.

Alcohol van driving offences

There are a whole host of different offences in relation to alcohol, which can carry between 3 and 11 penalty points depending on the severity of the offence. Depending on how far above the legal limit you are found, the penalty can remain on your licence for 4 years or 11 years. There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, it is unclear exactly how many drinks it takes for each individual driver to be over the alcohol limit. The safest policy is to remain clear if do you need to drive.

Drugs van driving offences

It is illegal to drive your van if you are unfit to do so, as a result of you taking illegal or LEGAL drugs, or if you have a certain level of illegal drugs in your system (they may not have affected your driving).
In terms of legal drugs, you’re looking at over the counter and prescribed medicines. If you are unsure if they will affect your driving, the pharmacist or doctor will be able to advise. If you happen to be convicted of a drug driving offence, you are likely to obtain:
• A minimum driving ban of 1 year
• A criminal record
• A fine up to £5000, up to 6 months in jail…. Or both!

Driving without due care and attention offences

Driving without due care and attention is defined as: ‘Driving which falls below the standard expected of a competent driver or driving which does not show reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or pathways. These include a number of offences; from driving without reasonable consideration for other road users, to causing death by careless, or inconsiderate driving. These offences carry penalty points between 3 and 11, while the penalty points will stay on your licence for 4 or 11 years.

Speeding van driving offences

Ensure you know the speed limits for your particular van on each of the different types of roads, as these can vary depending on the weight and type of van that you are driving. As of April this year, new speeding fines laws were introduced. Fines range between £100 and £2,500, whereas you can occur between 3 and 6 penalty points for speeding offences, while these points stay on your licence for 4 years.

Traffic direction and sign offences

Another broad area, these cover a wide range of situations, from traffic lights to not complying with a school crossing sign. Generally these offences carry 3 penalty points, while these points stay on you driving licence for 4 years.

Mobile phone driving offences

You can only use your hand held mobile phone in your van (with the engine running) if you need to contact the emergency services and it is unsafe for you to stop, or you are safely parked.

Driving bans

Length of a driving ban depends solely on the court and how severe they view the offence. 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence can mean bans lasting:
• 6 months if you’ve acquired the points within 3 years
• 12 months if you receive a second ban within 3 years
• 2 years if you receive a third ban with 3 years

Be wise, stay safe on the roads!

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