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motoring: Taking the points to save someone else's licence.

MILLIONS of motorists admit they would take the rap for a friend or relative's speeding offences.

A poll indicates that more than 10% of drivers, which equates to almost four million motorists, would accept the points to avoid their friend or relative getting a ban.

The Ipsos MORI poll, commissioned by insurance broker Swinton, suggests that 20% of drivers aged under 24 would take the points whilst among those aged over 55 years the number falls to 8%.

Drivers were asked the questions based on the assumption that they or their friends already had six points and were photographed by a speed camera positioned behind the vehicle so that the identity of the driver could not be confirmed.

Swinton spokesman Nick Bowyer says: "It means that brokers could be insuring drivers who otherwise might have been banned. There is only so much checking the insurance brokers can do.

"Until a few years ago many insurance brokers would increase premiums for drivers with as few as three penalty points. Today however, we look at each case individually and do not automatically increase insurance premiums when drivers exceed six points acquired through speed camera traps."

The nationwide poll suggests that less than 10% of drivers in the North-East would be prepared to ask for their points to be swapped.

The survey also found that men are slightly more likely to ask someone to take their points than women.

Speeding motorists face a minimum of three points if caught by cameras, with 12 points attracting an automatic ban in many cases.

Official figures indicate that five and a half million UK drivers have points on their license, of which 92% are from speed cameras.

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Mind your speed: But who takes the rap when a driver picks up points?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2007
Words:297
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