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Brake calls for drivers with 12 points to be automatically disqualified

Brake is demanding tougher treatment for drivers who endanger lives by repeatedly breaking the law.

Research out today by Brake and Direct Line reveals 43% of out-of-control drivers across Britain who clock up 12 points are not being disqualified. This is despite breaking vital safety laws, such as driving uninsured, using a phone at the wheel and speeding.

Brake and Direct Line analysed data provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and found that 10,072 drivers who had totted up 12 points or more have kept their licence and are still driving, while 13,449 drivers with 12 points or more are disqualified.

Analysis of the worst drivers, with 25 points or more, shows that 13 have committed uninsured driving offences, while 13 have been given points for speeding or failing to identify the driver of the vehicle. Other offences include driving without due care and attention, mobile phone offences and defective vehicles.

Although drivers can expect a ban of at least six months when they reach 12 points, many are successfully pleading that being disqualified would cause ‘exceptional hardship'.

A driver in Bradford has totted up 32 points on their licence, the most in Great Britain. This is after being caught driving uninsured four times, receiving eight points for each offence.

In Manchester a driver was caught driving uninsured five times and has kept their licence. They received six points for four of these offences, and seven points for the fifth.

There are five drivers in Great Britain with 30 points on their licence. They are from Stoke-on-Trent, Northampton, Nottingham, Blackburn and Derby. These drivers have received points for driving uninsured, speeding, failing to give the identity of the driver, red light running and mobile phone offences. One of these drivers was caught speeding seven times, as well as driving uninsured and running a red light.

A driver in Leeds has totted up 28 points on their licence without being disqualified. They were caught driving uninsured two times, at eight points each time, and caught driving ‘otherwise than in accordance with a licence' four times, at three points each time.

Five drivers have 27 points on their licence. Two are from Doncaster, with the others are based in Wakefield, Chatham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. They received points for driving uninsured, speeding, failing to identify the driver, driving without due care and attention, mobile phones offences, red light running, parking on double yellow lines. One of these drivers was caught speeding on a motorway eight times, as well as driving with defective tyres.

Julie Townsend, Brake campaigns director, said: "We are asking the government to act quickly to address this appalling situation.

“Clearly when the points system was designed, it wasn't intended that nearly half of drivers with 12 points would evade disqualification. It is outrageous these individuals, who rack up offence after offence, are allowed to continue driving, causing enormous risk to the public.

“Drivers who repeatedly flout traffic laws have shown complete disregard for the lives of other road users. They have also had ample opportunity to desist breaking the law before reaching 12 points and facing disqualification. It's time for the government to get tough with these selfish, irresponsible and potentially deadly drivers, and put a stop to their illegal and dangerous driving before it results in a devastating crash."

Brake is calling on the government to end the discretion given to the courts which allows drivers to evade a ban by arguing ‘exceptional hardship'. Brake is calling for automatic bans, as for drink-driving offences, when drivers reach 12 points, given that most drivers who reach 12 points have committed several dangerous offences, and had ample opportunity to amend their ways and drive within the law.

It also wants the government to investigate and close administrative loopholes that could lead to drivers escaping a ban.

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