Markets in everything: driver’s license points

by on July 12, 2007 at 7:19 am in Law | Permalink

It is the latest ruse on the roads of France: drivers are avoiding
disqualification by trading licence points on the internet.  Complete strangers are taking the rap for speeding offences in return for up
to €1,500 (£1,000), and police admit they are powerless to intervene. Even
pensioners who have not driven for many years are getting in on the act.

The market is growing:

French officials were unable to estimate the scale of points fiddling.  Across
the border in Spain, the
online motoring site, estimates the black market in points there is worth
€30 million a month.

One seller explains he does abide by ethical standards:

“I don’t have a bad conscience,” he [the seller] told le Parisien. “I only offer my
services to people with small excesses of speed.  And I always ask to see a
copy of the ticket.  I would never sell my points to a road hog.”

Here is the full explanation.  The pointer is from Kurt Muehmel.

1 Morten July 12, 2007 at 10:14 am

I guess, at least the French, government are encouraging this in two ways (I live in France and have been caught speeding):
1) The fine is issued to the owner of the car, and the owner is responsible to forward the fine to the offending driver. However, there is a discount if the fine is paid within two weeks and not disputed (ie. the owner takes the blame). This makes a monetary and time-saving incentive for the owner to pay and get on with life.
2) The owner of the car is liable (as far as I understand), while eg. in Norway only the offending driver is liable. Ie. in Norway the government has to identify the driver and can not rely on the owner to ‘rat out’ whoever was driving the car. This clearly makes an incentive for liable owners to forward the fine to a convenient ‘offender’. The offending driver might refuse to take the blame, in which case the owner is stuck with it, and maybe losing her license (again, as far as I understand the system).

2 Michael B Sullivan July 12, 2007 at 1:05 pm

I think that the lesson here is, “Speed limits are a polite fiction. People do not want speed limits enforced.”

3 fustercluck July 12, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Once a person with points sells them to a car owner who has been hit with a ticket, what’s to stop the seller from simply not paying the fine/denying culpability?

4 Dylan Downhill July 13, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Having gone to the UK last year and seen how the speed cameras are just there to make money for the authorities I would have no problems selling my points to someone else. Great business idea. No doubt they’ll try to make it illegal in which case it will just go underground.

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