How Many Points Does the Driver Next to You Have on Their Licence?
The Institute of Advanced Motorists recently used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain records from DVLA concerning how many drivers on our roads have 12 points or more … the results may make you look twice at the driver next to you.
Figures show as of the end of October 2015 there were 7,571 valid licences in Britain with 12 or more points. Even though these licences are valid, there is no data to say whether the owners of these licences are currently driving or not.
Out of these point collectors there are a massive 13 drivers with 28 or more points in Britain. The worst offender has managed to gain 51 points on a provisional licence. Information on the reason why drivers were awarded points was also released so we are taking a look at the top 5 offenders;
- 51 points – the title of worst offender goes to a driver who still only has a provisional licence. This driver lives in the Oxford area and has been caught speeding in a 30mph zone 3 times. Alongside the speeding offences there are also 7 occasions of failing to provide details to the authorities when requested to do so.
- 42 points – you will find this driver in the Liverpool area. There are 7 recorded incidents of failure to report driver details as well as previous speeding offences, one of which was for a recorded speed of 109 mph.
- 42 points – the driver in joint second place is currently listed as living in the Basildon area. This driver was caught speeding in a 30 mph zone on 2 separate occasions and failed to provide driver details a naughty 5 times.
- 39 points – 4th place goes to a driver in Wigan who racked up 13 charges of exceeding the speed limit for a goods vehicle.
- 38 points – our last driver is in the Burnley area and just can’t seem to control his right foot with 10 separate counts of speeding in a 30mph zone.
We all expect that if we reach 12 points on our licence, we will be disqualified from driving. Somehow these drivers have managed accumulate many more than 12 points and continue driving with a valid driving licence. So how are they doing it? A driver with 12 or more points can make a plea to a judge of exceptional hardship, the judge can then use their discretion and not disqualify the driver.
So what is exceptional hardship? Currently there is no specific legal definition. Hardship is expected if a driving licence is lost. This could include loss of income due to the loss of employment so losing a job is not classed as exceptional hardship. Exceptional hardship must go beyond the predictable consequences of losing a driving licence and will often involve an innocent third party who will be affected negatively.
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 decisions 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 us not forget, are designed for their safety – are ineffective or unimportant.”
What do you think? Should the rules on exceptional hardship be tightened?
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
12 January 2016
Written by Natalie Faughy