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Motorist with more than 50 points escapes driving ban

UK driving licence and vehicle keys

Three drivers with more than 40 points on their driving licence are still allowed on the road, according to data released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

It reveals that overall 13 people in Britain currently have 28 or more points, the worst of those amassing 51 points.

Meanwhile, the number of drivers with 12 or more points has gone up by 9% in just seven months between March and October 2015 – from 6,884 to 7,517.

While the DVLA does not hold details as to whether all of those individuals were still on the road, it did state that individual courts have the powers to choose not to disqualify a driver. 

In its reply to a Freedom of Information request from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), the DVLA said: “In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the agency understands that a court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver. 

“In the majority of these cases, magistrates may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.”

The location of drivers with 28 points or more across Britain by postcode district is as follows:

Points/Location

  • 51/Oxford
  • 42/Liverpool
  • 42/Basildon
  • 39/Wigan
  • 38/Burnley
  • 33/Northampton
  • 33/SW London
  • 30/Sheffield    
  • 30/Southend-on-Sea
  • 30/Slough
  • 30/Cambridge
  • 29/Peterborough
  • 28/Stevenage

Separately the IAM has looked into the ‘top five’ and has discovered the following:

  • 51 points holder (Oxford): provisional licence holder, three speeding offences in 30mph zone, seven offences of not providing driver details. Not disqualified
  • 42 points holder (Basildon): seven offences, all of which were for failing to report driver details. Previously held points for speeding including one at 109mph. Not disqualified from driving as magistrates accepted mitigating circumstances including ‘extreme hardship’ through loss of income. Not disqualified
  • 42 points holder (Liverpool): currently seven counts on record, including two of speeding in 30mph areas and five of not reporting driver of vehicle. Not disqualified
  • 39 points holder (Wigan): 13 counts of exceeding the speed limit for a goods vehicle. Not known if this driver has been disqualified
  • 38 points holder (Burnley): 10 counts of speeding in 30mph areas. Not disqualified

DVLA data shows that of the 45 million driving licence holders in Britain, three million have points on their licence. Some 100,000 have been disqualified over the past four years for reaching 12 points and 4% got all their points in one go.

The DVLA also says their evidence suggests 90% of drivers not disqualified are due to ‘judicial discretion’.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “The IAM has been highlighting this issue for several years now and we appreciate that the flow of information between the DVLA and the courts is slowly improving, which will allow the courts to make better decisions while armed with the full facts.

“However these improvements cannot come quickly enough to deliver a truly joined-up approach to the judicial process.

“Individual courts making decision on prosecutions can lead to inconsistency in how the law is applied which risks devaluing the simple ‘12 points and you’re out’ road safety message.

“If the public sees that persistent offenders are getting away with it, they may believe that road traffic rules – which let not us not forget, are designed for their safety – are ineffective or unimportant.” 
 

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Comments

  • alan Scott-Davies - 07/01/2016 10:59

    Why don't you ask a Magistrate for their take on the words 'judicial discretion'? I was one of the toughest Magistrates on the Central Norfolk Bench when I sat and exceptional hardship covers the same old excuses. having the data is not the problem. Magistrates being tough is the issue that needs to be addressed.

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  • Busterrabbit - 07/01/2016 11:34

    Logically anybody that loses their licence would suffer hardship because most would either lose their job or not be able to get to work, so why do we bother with adding insult to injury and suffer the cost of taking people to court when they escape the consequences of their law breaking? These perpetrators should think of the consequences before they break the law. It seems the norm now for lawbreakers to bleat on about some sob story as a result of being caught. That's the whole point of a deterrent, it's not a deterrent if it's not used! There is either a law in place or not, if the law is not going to apply to everyone, or be enforced, strike it from the statute. Governments introduce hundreds of new laws every year and most are not enforced, smoking in a car containing a child? Give me a break! Phone use is ubiquitous, more vehicles than ever are untaxed and uninsured and there are not enough Police to enforce existing laws as this article demonstrates. I genuinely fear for the future of this country as the significant minority of lawbreakers increasingly get away with more and more.

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  • Ste - 07/01/2016 11:56

    This is a disgrace I don't care what the circumstances are. A vehicle is a lethal piece of metal. If one of those people kills someone I hope the magistrate gets banged up too as they are culpable.

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  • Robberg - 07/01/2016 12:01

    Without knowing the full details it's difficult to comment but it would be interesting to know why the provisional licence holder with 51 points was not disqualified. How do these people get insurance?

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  • Rory Morgan - 07/01/2016 15:38

    Reading the other comments the resounding message is one of astonishment. The majority of those details highlighted are for speeding events, one of which has received points for breaking the speed limit 10 times. This clearly demonstrates a total lack of regard and respect for the law and other road users as previous endorsements have evidently not altered the behaviour or mind set one iota! My personal view is that if this person can't or won't learn then he or she should be facing jail not just a driving disqualification.

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  • Duncan McKellar - 12/01/2016 12:29

    When I was diagnosed with epilepsy my licence was taken away and no-one cared about hardship. If these drivers cared about their licences they wouldn't have the numbers of points that they do. Also if an epileptic keeps driving and kills someone they get jailed for breaking the rules. If one of these drivers kills someone when they should have been banned do we jail the magistrates?

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