'˜Dangerous' Doncaster drivers with up to 22 points on their licence escape bans

More than 100 '˜dangerous drivers' are still on the roads in Doncaster, despite getting enough points for a ban.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 26th October 2018, 3:32 pm
Some Doncaster drivers have up to 22 points on their driving licence
Some Doncaster drivers have up to 22 points on their driving licence

Analysis of DVLA data revealed that 118 drivers in the borough have managed to dodge a ban after being given 12 or more penalty points on their licence - the usual threshold for losing a licence.

if a driver can convince a magistrate that they, or an innocent party such as a family member, will face 'exceptional hardship' as a result of losing their licence they may be permitted to keep it.

Road safety charity Brake said the system is allowing repeat offenders to exploit loopholes in the law.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at the charity, said it is '˜hugely concerning' that so many offenders are being allowed to keep driving.

He continued: "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.

"Driving is a privilege, not a right and if that privilege is not exercised responsibly, it must be taken away.'

The charity is calling for the loophole to be closed as part of its Roads to Justice campaign.

In Doncaster, the highest number of points received by one driver who is still allowed to drive is 22.

Around 32 in every 100,000 local drivers have at least 12 points on their licence, which is well above the national average of 23 per 100,000.

Drivers can pick up penalty points, also known as endorsements, for a range of offences.

Minor offences, such as speeding or failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing, might attract three points and will stay on a driver's licence for four years unless it is wiped clean.

Serious offences, such as drink or drug driving, could get drivers up to 11 points, and these will stay on their licence for 11 years.

If a driver gets 12 or more points in three years they will usually be banned from driving for six months.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "The vast majority of drivers who get 12 penalty points are automatically disqualified.

'The courts have access to DVLA records which are taken into account, but sentencing is rightly a matter for independent judges based on the facts of each case.'

John Bache, Chair of the Magistrates Association, added: "The process for establishing exceptional hardship is robust '“ magistrates scrutinise every case very carefully and an individual would only avoid a ban if the magistrates sitting in the case are confident that exceptional hardship would genuinely be caused.'