62-penalty-point driver still on the road

62-penalty-point driver still on the road
As many as 10,000 people are driving legally on the UK’s roads despite having racked up 12 or more penalty points.

A Freedom of Information request made by the BBC uncovered what has been branded an “appalling” amount of repeat offenders, who have been granted a reprieve on a driving ban.

Among them a man in West Yorkshire was found to have accumulated a staggering 62 points on his licence, but is still allowed to drive.

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Penalty points are typically handed down as punishment for offences such as speeding, or failure to inform the DVLA of a driver’s change of address.

Once a driver has amassed 12 penalty points they must attend a court hearing, at which they receive a six-month ban from the roads unless they can convince magistrates that loss of licence would lead to “exceptional hardship”.

Of the 10,000 drivers who have exceeded 12 points and avoided a ban, a total of 203 surpassed the 18-point mark. Greater London emerged as the worst offending area, with 1,385 of its drivers qualifying for a ban.

Earlier this month, data gathered by the RAC uncovered that motorists caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel are more likely to be handed an awareness course than penalty points or a fine.

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According to legal experts, the prospect of losing a job is not enough to pass the “exceptional hardship” test, contrary to popular belief.

Magistrates may, however, choose to spare an offender from a road if they believe it could lead to default of a mortgage, or bankruptcy.

It is not known why the West Yorkshire man was allowed to continue driving.

Brake’s David Nichols told the BBC: “The penalty points system is supposed to be in place to protect the public from dangerous repeat offenders and it's appalling that these risky repeat offenders are allowed to keep driving.”

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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