Nearly 9,000 motorists have beaten a driving ban despite having amassed 12 penalty points or more on their licence and are currently legally driving on Britain’s roads.
According to the UK government website Directgov, drivers who build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years are liable to be disqualified under the 'totting-up' system.
The alarming results have been uncovered by The Co-operative Motor Group following a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA.
Most 12-penalty point drivers are in the north of England, where Blackpool has the highest percentage, followed by Oldham and Manchester. Only one southern town or city – Peterborough – features in the top 15.
Cardiff has the highest percentage in Wales, and Glasgow is top in Scotland, however both countries combined account for only around eight per cent of all 12-penalty point drivers. London is in 18th place.
Asked why drivers with 12 points on their licence could continue to drive, the DVLA stated that in a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, “the courts are able to use their discretion to decide whether or not to disqualify a driver.”
In the majority of these cases, drivers retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.
Tony Guest, managing director of The Co-operative Group, said: “It is concerning that motorists with so many points on their licence can legally be allowed to continue to drive.
“We would hope that at the very least these drivers are having to undertake re-training to ensure that they do not re-offend, but understand this is rarely the case. We would push for a standard test for drivers that reach 12 points for the safety of all road users.”
The DVLA also said that it was unaware of any requirement to undertake any mandatory training or testing upon reaching 12 or more penalty points, but added that any separate penalty imposed would be a matter for the court concerned.
Top 24 (all featured areas have at least 50 disqualified drivers)