Thousands of serial offenders use loopholes to stay on the road with 12 points on licence

Thousands of serial offenders use loopholes to stay on the road with 12 points on licence
Nearly 11,000 drivers are still on UK roads despite having enough penalty points to warrant a ban, worrying new figures reveal.

A study of DVLA data found a staggering 10,964 drivers have avoided a ban despite having more than 12 points on their licence, which would usually lead to such punishment.

One unnamed driver from the West Midlands, identified as the country’s worst serial offender, has a shocking 54 points on his licence and yet is still allowed to drive.

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Road safety charity Brake branded the Government and courts “complicit” in allowing these dangerous drivers to remain on the road, and urged authorities to close the current legal loophole around proving ‘exceptional hardship’.

READ MORE: Fixed Penalty Notices: all you need to know

Drivers are given penalties — also known as endorsements — for a number of driving offences and these penalties remain on licences for a certain number of years unless the driver is banned.

For example, a speeding offence could hit drivers with three points that stay on licences for four years, whereas other offences like drink-driving could lead to 11 points and stay on licences for 11 years.

If a motorist receives 12 or more points within a three-year period, they will usually receive a driving ban, however, there are certain ways that drivers can avoid a ban.

If an offender can convince a magistrate that losing their licence could cause “exceptional hardship” for them or a family member they could evade a ban even if they have more than 12 points.

SEE ALSO: Driving without due care and attention — our guide to staying safe

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, called the fact that so many offending drivers remain on the roads “hugely concerning”.

He said: “By ignoring the exploitation of the 'exceptional hardship' loophole that allows unsafe drivers to remain on our roads, the Government and courts are complicit in increasing the risk to the public.

“This dangerous loophole must be dealt with as a matter of urgency so that drivers who reach 12 points are automatically disqualified, protecting the general public from harm.”

He continued: “Driving is a privilege, not a right and if that privilege is not exercised responsibly, it must be taken away.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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