Avon and Somerset drivers are the worst

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A report published today by independent registration company Regtransfers (and published by www.petrolprices.com) suggests that drivers in Avon and Somerset are the worst in the UK. The analysis of 2.7 million police-issued fixed penalty notices throughout the tax year of 2016-2017 looked at the number of driving offences per 10,000 drivers registered within each police force division. It is worth noting here that the offences are referenced to where the driver is registered (ie their home address) and not the location of the offence.

The figures, compiled by Regtransfers, cover seven major driving offences.

Careless driving

Insurance and licence offences

Not wearing a seatbelt

Parking offences

Running lights and ignoring road signs

Speeding

Using mobile phones at the wheel

Avon and Somerset take the lead for the worst driving, with 197,692 fixed penalty notices issued overall. That’s 1,785 driving offences for every 10,000 drivers over the twelve-month period. In other words nearly 20% of the drivers in our county have been issued a penalty for one of these major offences.

The ten worst areas for driving offences per 10,000 drivers were:

Avon and Somerset: 1,785

Cumbria: 1,455

Warwickshire: 1,410

Norfolk: 1,388

Bedfordshire: 1,385

Northamptonshire: 1,231

Humberside: 1,148

Lincolnshire: 1,124

West Yorkshire: 1,120

Merseyside: 1,107

Of course this could be a result of other factors. Are the police in our area more vigilant? Or are drivers more willing to take risks while driving but there can be no doubt that the statistics paint a graphic picture.

Interestingly the data is supported by a separate study by the RAC Foundation that found on average drivers receive a fixed penalty notice every two-and-a-half seconds, so around 13,000 motorists get fined each day.

It won’t surprise you to hear that the most common driving offence is speeding and it is probably inevitable, given the stats above that it turns out that the worst offenders are Avon and Somerset motorists. Between us we managed to accumulate 184,65 speeding tickets in last year.

Given that the smallest penalty for speeding you can expect is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your licence you have to ask if the penalty regime is working. Is it tough enough? Are we really treating it, like Norman Stanley Feltcher, as an “occupational hazard”?

Either way this is not something to be proud of.