Point Swapping - The New Trend?

In the wake of claims that some of the country's most high-profile individuals have been swapping points on their licence to avoid a ban, it may be worth considering the lengths to which Britons will go if they want to stay on the road.

In the wake of claims that some of the country's most high-profile individuals have been swapping points on their licence to avoid a ban, it may be worth considering the lengths to which Britons will go if they want to stay on the road.

For those who have not heard the news, Teddy Sheringham, the former Champions League winning Manchester United footballer and recent recipient of an MBE, has been accused of taking part in illegal activities of this nature. While Sheringham flatly denies any wrongdoing, many drivers have admitted that they would consider a point-swapping scam.

A recent poll commissioned by insurer Swinton found that 3.7 million UK motorists would happy let a friend or relative take the rap for them if it meant avoiding a driving ban. However, the Ipsos MORI research also found that fewer would step in and help out a partner or relative, with just 13 per cent stating that they would be willing to do so.

While this 13 per cent represents a small proportion of the UK's drivers, it still accounts for a large number when one considers the number of cars on the road, meaning that millions would be happy to flout the law to help out a loved one - with millions more having no compunctions about doing so to save their own skin.

Nick Bowyer, a spokesperson for the car insurance company, said that the issues raised could be leading to a large number of road users who should excluded. "From a motor insurance point of view, it means that brokers like Swinton could be insuring some drivers who otherwise might have been banned from getting behind the wheel altogether," the expert remarked.

This isn't the only piece of recent research to highlight this potentially worrying trend, as a similar poll conducted by Churchill revealed the same trend. Although the exact figures differed between the two studies, Churchill's statistics again indicated that millions of British drivers are willing to break the law.

Frances Browning, a spokesperson for the insurer, commented: "This research shows the lengths that some drivers will go to in order to stay on the roads despite committing driving offences such as speeding.

"Trying to escape convictions by swapping points with another person is highly illegal and can lead to prosecution. The way to avoid a speeding ban in the first place is simple - drive responsibly."

So although there are many more honest, safe drivers on the road than those who drive dangerously and ignore the law, it's worth bearing in mind that it only takes one unsafe driver to endanger the lives of their fellow motorists.

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