A Freedom of Information Request to the DVLA by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has revealed that three people who currently have 40 or more points on their driving licence are still permitted to drive. The worst of those has amassed 51 points and the IAM has expressed its concern about the message being sent.
Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “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 DVLA said that 13 people had 28 points or more on their licence. None of the top three has been disqualified.
A driver in Liverpool has 42 points on their licence after two counts of speeding in a 30mph area and five of not reporting driver of vehicle.
A Basildon driver has the same number of points for seven instances of failing to report driver details. The person was not disqualified from driving as magistrates accepted mitigating circumstances including ‘extreme hardship’ through loss of income.
Topping the list, however, is a provisional licence holder in Oxford who has racked up 51 points via three speeding offences in a 30mph zone and seven offences of not providing driver details.
The IAM enquiry found that the number of drivers with 12 or more points has gone up by nine per cent in 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 are still on the road, it did say: “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.”
DVLA data shows that of 45 million driving licence holders in Britain, three million have points on their licence, with 100,000 having been disqualified over the past four years for reaching 12 points of whom four per cent got all their points in one go.
On behalf of IAM, Sillars expressed concern about inconsistency in how the law is being applied:
“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.”