Up to 12 million driving licence holders receive a penalty notice each year, according to research by the RAC Foundation. This equates to one penalty notice issued every 2.5 seconds.

The research reveals that the penalty notices are usually one of two types; a Fixed Penalty Notice, which is a criminal penalty issued for contravention of motoring law, or a Penalty Charge Notice, a civil penalty often issued by councils for contravention of rules like parking regulations.

The 12 million total is broken down broadly as follows:

• 8 million local authority parking penalties
• 2.5 million local authority bus lane and box junction penalties, etc.
• 500,000 late licensing and insurance penalties, etc.
• 1 million speeding and red-light penalties, etc.

The total of 12 million does not include the annual figure of 1.2 million drivers now undertaking a speed awareness course instead of receiving a penalty and points on their licences. Nor do the figures include the five million parking penalties issued to drivers on private land each year.