Do you know your FPN from your elbow?
Motorists are being warned about six different ways they can earn a fine and potential points on their license, in a bid to improve safety standards and save drivers cash.
Researchers for LeaseVan.co.uk believe many of Britain’s motorists may not know the difference between a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), Penalty Charge Notice or Parking Charge Notice. They’ve produced a handy guide on how to avoid hefty penalties and fines.
A spokesperson for LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Millions of driving tickets are handed out each year and it can be a minefield knowing what to do with them and how to avoid them in the first place.
“Some, like parking tickets, offer a reduced price the sooner you pay them, and others can be increased if you decide to go to court.
“Ultimately you could end up with your driving license being removed, so it’s extremely important to know the rules of the road and pay attention to the small print if you do receive a ticket.”
How much over the speed limit you’re driving determines how much you’ll be paying and potentially how many points you’ll receive on your license. The majority of people will commit a ‘minor offence’ and will receive an FPN of £100 fine and three points on the licence.
This can be waived if you opt for a speed awareness course if it’s your first speeding offence or you haven’t attended a course in the last three years.
Councils issue ‘Penalty Charge Notices’ mainly for parking offences such as parking on double yellows or in Resident Only spaces. The fine for this tends to be halved if you pay within the first 14 days.
Private car parking firms have also started to follow suit with many now enforcing ‘Parking Charge Notices’. It may come as a shock to return to your vehicle to find a yellow label on the windscreen. It is important that, if you think you’ve been wrongly issued with one, you take photographic evidence of your time of return to the car park, and where you were parked etc. Document everything you think will help your cause.
Timings can be a common cause for drivers receiving bus lane tickets. Many lanes are only in use as bus lanes during specified times and misreading a sign or having your car clock wrong can land you with a ticket. Fines are £65 if outside of Greater London, but if in the capital they can go up to £160. Prices can sometimes be reduced if paid early.
Jumping a red light can be very costly both to the driver and other vehicles on road. You will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution, which will ask the car owner who was driving, and they may be fined £100 and earn three points on their licence.
Mobile phones can be useful as satnavs but make sure you set the destination before you hit the road. If anyone is caught holding or using a mobile phone, they will be handed six points and a £200 fine. If you’re a new driver and passed less than two years ago, your driving licence will be removed.
Driving on the hard shoulder
Reserved for emergency vehicles and vehicles which have broken down, driving on the hard shoulder can be a quick way to receive a ticket resulting in a £100 fine and three points on your licence. There are, of course, cases such as in roadworks where signs may direct you to use the hard shoulder legally.