Penalty point drivers dodge ban

Figures have revealed that thousands of drivers with 12 penalty points, including a man with 54, managed to dodge a driving ban in 2009.

During last year, 31,100 drivers who reached the maximum number of points lost their licences, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) said.

But 11,226 motorists escaped disqualification during the period.

The highest amount of points was amassed by a 27-year-old man from Stockton-on-Tees, near Middlesbrough, who had more than four times the ban limit, with 54 points.

His offences began three years ago when he was convicted of using a mobile phone while driving, an offence he committed at least six more times.

He also failed to tell police who was driving the car on several occasions and was found to have driven "otherwise than in accordance with a licence", before being eventually banned in April this year.

It is not clear whether he remained on the road through lenient magistrates or administrative errors. Although he managed to avoid a ban, it's likely that hiscar insurance costs soared following the points.

A driver from Birmingham racked up 38 points without a ban, while another from Enfield gathered 35 points and stayed on the road.

In total, 176 drivers avoided disqualification after amassing at least 20 points, according to the figures released under a Freedom of Information request.

Their convictions included drink and drug-related offences and driving without insurance.

Drivers clocking up 12 penalty points are sometimes able to escape a ban by claiming they would suffer exceptional hardship if deprived of their licence.

Copyright © Press Association 2010