Many sales professionals spend a lot of time on the road, therefore the chance f the odd mishap that could lead to penalty points is massively increased compared to other professionals. The Fuelcard Company is however warning against a practice recently associated with MP Chris Hume, the transferring of penalty points.
Chris Huhne’s current ‘spot of bother’ has put the focus on this common practice, which many assume is innocuous, but in fact makes them guilty of perverting the course of justice – a very serious offence that can carry an unlimited prison sentence.
It’s predicted that private and commercial drivers have transferred penalty points for years, probably in their thousands. The opportunity to do so arises from the fact that, in England and Wales, speed cameras usually only record the rear number plate, with a notice sent to the registered keeper who must report who was behind the wheel. Whether or not the offender was the owner, many people with existing points persuade partners, family, friends or colleagues to claim they were driving.
For employers, it can be a tempting ruse. The prospect of having to recruit and train a temporary or permanent replacement for an experienced driver or staff member is an inconvenience and expense they could do without. Far easier and cheaper to prevail upon another employee to take the points, then pay the comparatively modest insurance uplift.
The Fuelcard Company Sales and Marketing Director, Jakes de Kock, says everyone should be aware of the dangers of taking this route: “If a fleet manager brokers the transfer of penalty points between two of their drivers, at least three people have conspired to commit a criminal offence that commonly results in a three-to-six-month stretch. That’s a career-ending punishment and a very unpleasant experience.”