More than 90,000 drivers are on the brink of losing their licences

More than 90,000 drivers are on the brink of losing their licences
An “alarming” number of UK drivers are close to kissing their licences goodbye thanks to the amount of points they’ve stacked up, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request reveals.

Around 92,000 motorists have accumulated between nine and 11 points, leaving them worryingly close to the 12-point limit, when a ban usually comes into play, IAM RoadSmart found using DVLA data.

Of these, more than 4,000 are only one point away from a minimum six-month ban.

Figures show 80,484 drivers currently have nine points, 7,804 have 10 points, and 4,313 have 11 points.

The research also uncovered nearly 8,800 motorists with 12 points or more who are still behind the wheel, after claiming ‘exceptional hardship’ to keep hold of their licences. New, stricter criteria however, mean those currently living on the edge won’t get the same exception unless hard evidence is provided.

Courts will look at whether hardship is likely to occur in many if not most orders of disqualification, including proof that alternatives (such as alternative modes of transport) for avoiding exceptional hardship are not viable.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, said: “The number of motorists still driving on UK roads with more than 12 points, or just under the driving ban threshold, is alarming.”

The most common driving offences that lead to points are speeding, driving without insurance, using a handheld phone at the wheel and running red lights, according to the DVLA.

Everyday bad driving habits, ignorance or judgement errors could be what pushes drivers over the points threshold, IAM RoadSmart warns.

Motorists must be aware that “a lack of basic vehicle maintenance” – such as defective tyres, blown headlight or brake light bulbs, cracked light covers, faulty windscreen wipers or worn suspension components – could also result in points.

IAM RoadSmart believe the figures should be a warning to drivers of just how easy it can be to accumulate points as a result of failing to carry out regular basic safety checks of their vehicles.

Another recent FOI request to the DVLA revealed more than 12,000 learner drivers are in danger of being stripped of their licences immediately after passing their tests.

A total of 10,639 drivers have between seven and nine points on their provisional licences, while 1,803 have 10 or more, putting them in dangerous water as pre-test points are carried over. New drivers who accrue six or more points within two years of passing their test automatically lose their licence.

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