You might have thought totting up 12 points on your driving license would result in at least a 6 month ban, but that isn’t the case for over 8,000 UK motorists.
Latest figures from the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have revealed 46 motorists have legally been able to continue driving on the roads, despite all having over 30 points on their license. What’s more surprising is 39 of these drivers have between 30 and 50 points on their records, 6 motorists have more than 50 points, whilst one driver has clocked up a whopping 68 points.
The DVLA have also revealed the areas with the top offending drivers. Greater London takes the top spot with 1,194 people on or above the 12-point mark - with West Yorkshire (556), West Midlands (491), Merseyside (730) and Greater Manchester (348) making up the top five.
Number of UK drivers with more than double the maximum driving license points
|Number of drivers
These drivers have been able to drive legally as magistrates have the power not to enforce a driving ban if they consider a suspension would inflict ‘exceptional hardship’.
A spokesman for the government body said: “The DVLA’s driver database changes constantly. Therefore, it is possible only to provide a snapshot of the state of the record at the time of any request.
“The statistics provided are likely to include cases where drivers have received court sentences including disqualification, supervision orders, community punishment orders or imprisonment.
“Where sentences have been imposed other than through the totting up process, the penalty points follow standard periods of validity according to the offences concerned.
“Following the period of disqualification imposed, drivers can re-apply for their licence meaning that they can have a high number of valid penalty points and current entitlement to drive, even though the sentence of the court has been served.
“In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, we understand 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.
“The DVLA checks with courts when a driver’s 12 current penalty point threshold is met or exceeded but where a disqualification is not imposed at the time of the conviction.”
What can you get penalty points for?
Penalty points can be handed out for a wide range of reasons and offencess. The most common include speeding, driving without insurance, failing to comply with traffic light signals and driving without due care and attention.
Who is most likely to receive penalty points?
The DVLA stats also showed there were a total of 8,237 drivers in England on or over the 12-point threshold, with men (6,837) far outnumbering women (1,400).
In Wales the overall figure is 512 - with 413 male and 99 female motorists - while Scotland comes in at the lowest with a total figure of 225, split into 192 men and 33 women.
What are the consequences of receiving points on your licence?
MotorEasy founder Duncan McClure Fisher said “While most drivers throughout their lifetime will be hit with some points on their licence, this normally acts as a warning.
“Penalty points often lead to higher insurance premiums and remain on your record for a number of years.
“But these figures from the DVLA show that there is a worryingly larger number of motorists in the UK who, it seems, have made collecting points something of a hobby.
“To have 68 penalty points on your licence shows an incredible amount of disrespect, not only for the law of the land but for other road users, too.”