Thousands of motorists retain driving licence on compassionate grounds despite having enough penalty points to be banned.
Drivers Keep Licence Despite Having 12+ Points
7,000+ motorists were legally entitled to drive in the UK during July 2015 despite having enough penalty points to be banned, Auto Express confirmed. This figure – that came via a freedom of information request from the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency – was about 500 higher than May 2015. A motorist is typically banned having collected 12 or more points in 3 years. This could include (say) 3 for speeding and 11 for dangerous driving. A newly qualified motorist can be banned if he/she receives 6 within 2 years of passing the practical test. However, a driver might escape a ban if it would cause exceptional hardship – and this defence enabled thousands of serious offenders to continue driving in July.
The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency said: “In a small percentage of cases, the agency understands 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 disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.” The representative explained that examples: “include a person losing their job and as a result their home, a person who is unable to care for a disabled or reliant loved one, or the impact on a business resulting in redundancies.”
Motoring Lawyer Neil Davies, Senior Partner at Caddick Davies, explained that offenders must demonstrate to a court that a ban would cause real hardship, not just inconvenience. He continued: “It must be remembered that if the court agrees not to disqualify the motorist, they will still remain with any penalty points on their driving licence and may only make this application once every 3 years on the same grounds. If the motorist commits another offence within 3 years - and finds themselves again totting up with 12 or more points - they will not be able to use the same reasons.”
Drivers With Highest Number Of Points In UK
2015 prolific offenders include a man from Liverpool who had 45 points. He was penalised on 3 occasions for speeding in a 30 mph zone and 5 for failing to provide information to the authorities. Furthermore, a male from Lewisham collected 40 points despite not having a full or provisional licence. His offences included speeding and driving without motor insurance. A woman from Blackburn had 38 points and men from Great Yarmouth, Oxford, Wales and Wymondham had 36 each. There were at least 8 others with 30+ points.