Brake has welcomed plans to clarify the ‘exceptional hardship’ rule for driving bans, saying it will help ensure repeat offenders are removed from the road.
Under current law, drivers who accumulate 12 or more points within a three-year period face a minimum six month driving ban.
However, courts can allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.
On 22 January, the Sentencing Council launched a consultation on new guidance, designed to set out clearly what courts should consider when hearing arguments of exceptional hardship.
Brake has described the proposals as ‘a positive step towards closing the loophole’.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “Far too often drivers who have been caught repeatedly breaking the law are let off a deserved ban by using the excuse of exceptional hardship, often for pitifully inadequate reasons.
“These are dangerous repeat offenders who have been granted ample opportunity to change their driving behaviour yet continue to put lives at risk through their complete disregard for the law.
“If drivers who rack up 12 points aren’t banned, it undermines, and makes a mockery of, the entire system.”
DVLA data shows, as of December 2019, more than 10,000 people in Great Britain were permitted to drive despite having 12 or more penalty points on their licence.