New figures obtained by the BBC show that there were 10,000 motorists legally driving on British roads last month, despite having amassed 12 points on their licence.
Reported on the BBC News website (23 Feb), the figures show that more than 200 of those had accumulated at least 18 points – the equivalent six minor speeding offences.
One driver in the West Yorkshire has a total of 62 points on his licence – but can still drive legally.
The road safety charity Brake described the new figures as ‘absolutely shocking’.
Under UK law, a motorist can have licence revoked for picking up 12 points. However, magistrates can choose not to enforce the ban in ‘exceptional cases’.
Sheena Jowett, deputy chairman of the Magistrates’ Association, the independent charity representing magistrates in England and Wales, told the BBC: “Magistrates take decisions under clear guidelines, impartially, and on the merits of each individual case.”
Looking at geographical areas, Greater London topped the table with 1,385 people over 12 points still able to drive, while the Shetland Islands had the least with one person.
West Yorkshire was among the top 10 counties for numbers of offenders, as was Essex, where one driver had 42 points, and another had 36.
Oxfordshire, Surrey and Norfolk were average in terms of the number of offending drivers but had motorists clocking up 51 points, 30 and 39 respectively.
David Nichols, Brake, told the BBC: “The penalty points system is supposed to be in place to protect the public from dangerous repeat offenders and it’s appalling that these risky repeat offenders are allowed to keep driving.”
In January 2016, IAM RoadSmart called for tougher penalties on persistent offenders after revealing that three drivers with more than 40 points on their driving licences are still on the road.
In July last year, figures also obtained by the BBC showed that there was 213 motorists in Wales still legally driving despite having 12 penalty points on their licence.
IAM calls for crackdown on persistent offenders
07 January 2016