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5/14/2005
726,000 UK Motorists Lie to Save License
A survey by Churchill Insurance found that thirty percent of UK drivers would "swap points" to avoid a driving ban.

Churchill Insurance
Camera enforcement in the UK is putting a significant number of motorists in the position of lying in order to save their license or job. According to a survey of 2097 UK motorists by Churchill Insurance, 2.2 percent, or 726,000 drivers, have engaged in the practice of point-swapping which happens when a family member or friend takes the blame and points for a photo ticket. Nearly a third of motorists in England -- and 41 percent of Scottish motorists -- said that they would do so if they were put in the position of losing their driving license.

In Britain, drivers lose their license if they receive 12 points. Most commonly this comes from four speed camera or red light camera tickets. If, for example, a husband with three tickets receives another in the mail, he can ask his wife to take the blame for the fourth so that he keeps his license -- often saving his job. The number of individuals losing their license has fallen despite the massive rise in speeding tickets which indicates the widespread nature of this practice.

Police point out that as long as the fine is paid, they don't bother verifying who was actually driving. The most common Gatso speed camera photographs only the back of a vehicle, while mobile speed cameras and Truvelo devices take photographs that may show who is behind the wheel. UK camera tickets do not include a photograph of the incident, so motorists must go out of their way to see the evidence against them.



Article Excerpt:
The survey also undermines claims that the low number of disqualifications proves that speed cameras are working. The AA Motoring Trust has argued that drivers must be learning their lesson after gaining three speeding penalties because so few went on to pick up four.
Source: Move over - I'll take the blame for your speeding (London Times (UK), 5/14/2005)

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