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12 Points and Out?

It’s been discovered that an astonishing number of drivers in the UK are driving with 12 points or more on their driving licenses.

Motoring.co.uk revealed via a Freedom of Information request from the DVLA and highlighted by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) that 7,621 people are still driving with 12 points or more on their licence.

The motorists in question have reached and in some cases, exceeded the point threshold and are eligible for a ban. These drivers not only endanger other road users as they’re repeat offenders but it also brings the penalty point system into disrepute.

Normally, under the accumulation system, drivers are banned if they accumulate 12 points on their licence over a three-year period.

The freedom of information request revealed that an astounding 15 drivers have 30 or more points on their licence, with a male motorist from Liverpool accumulating 45 points for speeding and failing to give information.

Ten of the top 15 penalty point holders are male, whilst two drivers have been caught for using a vehicle uninsured six on six occasions.

The top three compromises of two males; from Liverpool and London areas and a female driver, from Blackburn area, with 38 points, caught speeding ten times.

The IAM has blamed a breakdown in communication between the courts and the DVLA for these figures.

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.”

The freedom of information request also revealed that a further 36,000 drivers stand a single offence away from losing their driving licenses.

Terry Hogan, Co-founder of Motoring.co.uk said: “Loopholes exist where reckless drivers flout the law and get away with it. Hopefully the government’s new ‘verified identity’ scheme – Gov.UK Verify – will help to eliminate this issue. In the meantime law abiding drivers will be more at risk.”

AA President, Edmund King said, “Drivers with 9 penalty points on their licence really are living on the edge. It might just be a momentary lack of concentration that takes them above the 30mph limit but, unless they were offered a speed awareness course, they would most likely face a ban. Likewise one glance of that text that had come though might be enough to take them off the road with a ban. Drivers need to think hard about the consequences of breaking the law and receiving a ban. For many people driving is essential for work or for getting to work, so losing one’s licence could be losing one’s job. Otherwise banned drivers might need to rely on the expense of taxis and chauffeurs. The ban can also affect family life, as often it is the parents that need to ferry their children round to sporting and after-school activities. Insurance costs will increase before the driver gets back on the road. The message is if you relish the freedom of the road be very careful to safeguard that freedom by sticking to the rules of the road.”

By Noman Kenneth