March 29, 2007 / 6:31 AM / 12 years ago

A million motorists close to ban

LONDON (Reuters) - More than one million motorists are close to a driving ban, a survey shows.

Traffic moves on the M25 London Orbital motorway near junction 22 in Herfordshire, June 5, 2005. Some 4.5 million drivers have points on their licence for speeding and 21 percent of them are one conviction away from a driving ban, according to research by Direct Line. REUTERS/Mike Finn-Kelcey

Some 4.5 million drivers have points on their licence for speeding and 21 percent of them are one conviction away from a driving ban, according to research by Direct Line.

That figure has increased by four percent — equal to 215,000 motorists — in the past year.

Rising convictions could affect the livelihood of 14 percent of drivers who say they would lose their job if their licence was revoked — a figure which rises to one in five among male motorists.

As well as clocking up penalty points, motorists have also paid more than 300 million pounds in fines for speeding in the past three years.

The research found that nearly half of speeding convictions were for a breach of the speed limit of less than 10 miles per hour.

Three quarters of drivers support government proposals to give those breaking the speed limit by less than 10 miles per hour fewer points. The current minimum is three penalty points.

There are 6,000 speed cameras in Britain, but safespeed.org.uk, an organisation campaigning for cameras to be scrapped, said high convictions does not mean safer roads.

Founder Paul Smith said: “Speed cameras criminalise millions, but don’t make our roads safer.

“They are supported only by flawed assumptions and dodgy statistics.

“Since we have used speed cameras, road deaths have fallen far more slowly than expected.

“I am absolutely certain that this is due to ‘bad policy’ founded on speed cameras.”

The group believes speed cameras have made roads more dangerous, due to the impact they have on driving quality.

Its petition has attracted more than 19,500 signatures in six weeks.

The Direct Line research was carried out by YouGov among a sample of 2,291 adults.

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