Road traffic offences
Road traffic offences accounted for 63% of all offences recorded in Scotland in 2022-23. Between 2021-22 and 2022-23, the number of Road traffic offences recorded by the police decreased by 2% from 111,987 to 109,320. Over the longer term, there was a decrease of 63% since 2013-14.
The national rate of recorded Road traffic offences decreased from 204 per 10,000 population in 2021-22 to 199 per 10,000 population in 2022-23.
The Road traffic offences group includes the following categories:
Road Traffic Offences
- Dangerous & careless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Unlawful use of motor vehicle
- Vehicle defect offences
- Seat belt offences
- Mobile phone offences
- Other road traffic offences
In 2022-23, of all Road traffic offences:
- Unlawful use of motor vehicle accounted for a third (33%)
- Other road traffic offences accounted for just over a fifth (22%)
- Speeding accounted for 16%
- Dangerous & careless driving accounted for 12%
- Driving under the influence accounted for 7%
- Vehicle defect offences accounted for 5%
- Mobile phone offences accounted for 3%
- Seat belt offences accounted for 2%
The following section discusses the three largest categories (Unlawful use of motor vehicle, Other road traffic offences and Speeding) in more detail.
For further information on the other Road traffic offences categories please refer to the 'Supporting documents' Excel workbook for this bulletin. This includes data on the number of offences recorded in each category (Table 2) and rates per 10,000 population (Table 4). The workbook includes an 'Introduction' sheet, with information on how to navigate the tables, alongside a 'Notes' sheet, with relevant details to assist users when reading and interpreting results.
Unlawful use of motor vehicle
The Unlawful use of motor vehicle category includes offences such as Driving while disqualified, Driving without a licence, Driving without insurance, and Driving without a test certificate. Further detail can be found in the User Guide.
Unlawful use of motor vehicle is the largest category in this group, accounting for 33% of all Road traffic offences. This category decreased by 37% between 2013-14 and 2022-23, including a 3% decrease from 37,238 in 2021-22 to 36,243 in 2022-23.
Other road traffic offences
Other road traffic offences accounted for just over a fifth (22%) of all Road traffic offences. This category includes a range of offences, such as Accident offences (accounting for 66% of the category), Driver's neglect of traffic directions (not pedestrian crossing) (16%), Motor vehicle other offences (7%) and Failing to provide info to identify driver of motor vehicle (5%).
This category increased by 9%, from 22,355 in 2021-22 to 24,302 in 2022-23, however there was an overall decrease of 42% since 2013-14.
Speeding accounted for 16% of all Road traffic offences. This category decreased by 21%, from 22,472 in 2021-22 to 17,767 in 2022-23. There was a decrease of 78% since 2013-14.
These figures do not include any offences recorded as a result of the Scottish Safety Camera Programme. These are excluded as no police resources are used in the recording of an offence by this programme and the National Statistics on Recorded Crime focus solely on crimes and offences faced by the police and not by other organisations.
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