Male drivers fail to see the points

12.00 | 24 April 2013 | | 6 comments

More than 8,000 motorists in Britain are still driving despite having clocked-up 12 points or more on their licence, according to the IAM.

A freedom of information (FOI) request to the DVLA showed that, with 25 points or more, the highest 14 licence point holders are all men, and that many male drivers with 25-36 points are still driving.

The FOI also showed that of the highest 34 licence point holders, only two are women – and of the highest 99 licence point holders, just 14 are women. Some 2,256 men and 351 women are still driving with more than 12 points on their licence.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “Law abiding drivers will be shocked that so many drivers are on the road that have more than 12 points. The ‘totting up’ principle is supposed to give a simple four strikes and you are out message. Anything more than this should be a disqualification, unless there are the most exceptional circumstances.

“There must be tighter practice in courts and at the DVLA to take these motorists off the road or ensure they take a driver retraining course to help them break their points habit.”

Click here to view the data, or for more information contact the IAM.


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    I dislike the assumption that all drivers with 12 points or more still driving are somehow the scum of the earth and loaded guns with hair triggers. I have 12 points and still drive – I am an ordinary guy without access to expensive legal representation and hope that I am a decent driver of both the car and motorcycle. I have 12 points because I was given 9 for allegedly doing 36 in a 30 limit. The punishment was severe because I dared to stand up and query the accuracy of the police who were clearly not following ACPO guidelines (which the court refused to grant me access to on the day).

    Irrespective of the detail of my case, I now drive like a saint but am actually a worse driver because my paranoid concentration is mostly on the speedometer. More importantly without the special dispensation that allowed me to continue driving as a self-employed person going through a very deep recession, I could now really have been divorced, destitute and suicidal. I am not joking. Blanket tarring of everyone with the same brush is unfair.

    Doug Harris Stockton-on-Tees
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    How many of them are IAM members? No doubt they all notify the IAM when they receive points! Not sure if the points are given for technical offences, although many drivers ‘get off’ due to technical offences. Once again most of these will still be driving due to the depth of their pockets and ability to hire better legal advice than the CPS can muster in our adversarial justice system. 12 points should be a ban, end of.

    Olly, Lancs
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    As Hugh suggests, without knowing how the points were accumulated, and why drivers weren’t banned, we cannot pass meaningful comment.

    But is this a major issue? If this had been the case two decades ago, I would have been concerned (as licence points back then usually reflected a poor standard of driving), but now, with millions of drivers being fined for technical offences while driving safely and considerately, we should perhaps expect that justice requires that many people should not be banned even with over 12 points.

    Dave, Slough
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    My understanding is that the law has always said that on reaching 12 points drivers are ‘liable’ to be disqualified – not that it’s an automatic decision!

    Kevin Willams, Survival Skills Rider Training
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    It doesn’t give the reasons why these individuals were not banned, but it doesn’t take away the frustration that must be felt by the Police and associated authorities who try to bring the errant drivers to book but then, on the face of it at least, their efforts are then thwarted. The ultimate road safety tool is to get certain people off the road and out of harm’s way, but if the Courts are seemingly being too lenient it won’t be as effective as it could be.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Surely this is enough to show that the points system isn’t working and needs an overhaul. New drivers get 6 points to play with (effectively one or two offences) yet some older drivers our there are seemingly untouchable. How is this fair or just?

    Dave, Leeds
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