Serial speeders

escaping driving

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Speed check

THREE drivers with more than 40 penalty points on their licences - including one caught speeding at 109mph - have not been banned from Britain's roads.

They are among 13 UK motorists who currently have more than 28 points on their licences.

The worst offender is a learner driver who has amassed a total of 51 points and has not been disqualified after comitting10 motoring offences within the past three years.

Under the present ‘totting up' procedure most motorists face a ban when they reach 12 points.

The figures have been released by the Institute of Advanced Motorists which submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA - Britain's driving licence authority.

They show that between March and October last year the number of drivers with 12 or more points has gone up by nine per cent to 7,517.

Of the 45 million driving licence holders in Britain, three million now have points on their licence and some 100,000 have been disqualified over the past four years for reaching 12 points.

The driver with 51 points is a provisional licence holder from Oxford who has committed three speeding offences in 30mph zones and seven offences of not providing driver details.

Another motorist, from Basildon in Essex, has also escaped a ban after notching up 42 points for seven offences, all of which were for failing to report driver details.

This driver, who previously held points for speeding including one at 109mph, was not disqualified after magistrates accepted mitigating circumstances including ‘extreme hardship' through loss of income.

The list of ‘super offenders' who are still allowed to drive also includes a driver from Liverpool on 42 points for two speeding offences in 30mph areas and five of not reporting the driver of vehicle, and a motorist from Burnley who has amassed 38 points after being caught speeding 10 times in 30mph zones.

The other drivers with more than 28 points are from Wigan, where a motorist has 39 points for speeding 13 times in a goods vehicle, Northampton and south west London (two drivers with 33 points), Sheffield, Slough, Southend-on-Sea and Cambridge (four drivers on 30 points) and from Peterborough (29 points) and Stevenage (28 points).

While the DVLA does not hold details of whether all of those were still on the road, the agency said in its reply to the IAM: "In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the agency understands that 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 that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship."

Sarah Sillars, chief executive officer for the IAM, said: "The IAM has been highlighting this issue for several years now and we appreciate that the flow of information between the DVLA and the courts is slowly improving, which will allow the courts to make better decisions while armed with the full facts.

"However these improvements cannot come quickly enough to deliver a truly joined-up approach to the judicial process. Individual courts making decision on prosecutions can lead to inconsistency in how the law is applied which risks devaluing the simple ‘12 points and you're out' road safety message.

"If the public sees that persistent offenders are getting away with it, they may believe that road traffic rules - which let not us not forget, are designed for their safety - are ineffective or unimportant."

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