The courts have been busy with motorists over the last year, according to the latest statistics.

While the number of drivers in the dock accused of speeding last year reached a new high, prosecutions for drug driving and mobile phone use fell.

Fast and furious

Analysis of the 2022 Criminal Justice Statistics has been carried out by the AA. Their work reveals that almost a quarter of a million drivers (245,043) appeared in court accused of speeding last year. This is the highest number in a single year since records began.

The number of drink-driving cases brought to court also rose 1.8% during 2022, to 33,099.

However, there was a 16% reduction in cases of drug driving and a 15.5% fall in drivers pursued in the courts for using a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel. This seems to go against anecdotal evidence and headlines which have highlighted these two offences and a serious and growing issue on our roads.

Not convinced

Head of roads policy at the AA, Jack Cousens, says: “While the number of cases for using a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel and drug driving have fallen, we are not fully convinced that this is due to improved compliance.

“Our own studies show that a quarter of drivers regularly see others picking up a phone when behind the wheel, meanwhile a reduction in dedicated traffic officers means some drivers feel they can get away with certain behaviours.”

Paying their dues

The analysis also showed that more than 55,500 cases were heard for vehicles being on the road without tax. This is a 12.3% increase compared to the previous year.

Similarly, there was a rise in the numbers failing to supply informations and documents to the police when required to. More than 101,057 people were charged, up from 96,799 in 2021.

Furthermore, 83,100 drivers were in court for driving without insurance. This represented a fall of  11,000 cases compared to 2021.

More than 3,000 drivers stood accused of driving without a valid MOT.

Clear cases

In total 710,738 cases came to court for motoring offences last year. Of these, 642,236 resulted in a conviction. It means that nine out of 10 motoring cases that end up in court result in a guilty verdict, showing that drivers are highly unlikely to be acquitted.

“These figures serve as a reminder of the huge consequences both poor and illegal driving can result in,” adds Cousens.

“Those willing to gamble when behind the wheel should think again.

“Some may say that record speeding cases are just a reflection of too many cameras, but speeding can be life ending and life changing, so it is only right that those excessive speeders are properly punished.