Convictions for traffic offences increase

Official government figures analysed by IAM RoadSmart have found that convictions for traffic offences in England and Wales’ courts are steadily increasing again from 2013 – including a 52% increase in dangerous driving convictions.

Guilty verdicts were at 1.2 million in 2006 and declined for seven years until 2014 when the total number of offences started rising again and have continued to do so since.

Other statistics to emerge from IAM RoadSmart’s research include an increase of almost 70,000 over 10 years in convictions for the failure to supply the identity of a driver of a vehicle. By contrast there were also big drops in drink-drive and mobile phone-related convictions.

There does not appear to be a reason why conviction rates are on the rise again, but IAM RoadSmart surmises that a combination of targeted enforcement, increased electronic surveillance and a renewed focus on traffic policing after years of neglect may be behind the increases.

The figures also reveal a 10% drop in those convicted of drink-driving since 2013 when 43,000 drivers were found guilty compared to just under 39,000 in 2016.

The dangers of using a mobile phone might be sinking in to more drivers, with convictions for the offence of using or causing others to use a mobile phone whilst driving dropping by more than half in the past five years, from 32,404 in 2011 to 13,847 in 2016 – a reduction of over 57%.

One motoring offence which has been on the rise steadily since 2006 is ‘failing to supply information as to identity of driver when required.’ In 2006 there were 12,056 convictions but by 2016 this number had grown to a huge 82,029 guilty verdicts. This is most likely linked to increased forms of surveillance leading to more requests to confirm the identity of the driver.