Repeat offenders represent ‘big risk’ to road users

12.50 | 27 February 2019 | | 10 comments

Courts are being urged to ‘get tough’ on drivers and riders who accumulate 12 penalty points on their licences.

Figures published in October 2018 show that nearly 11,000 people are still driving with 12 or more points on their licences.

GEM Motoring Assist says motorists who reach this level show ‘disregard for the law’ and represent ‘a big risk’ to other road users.

The charity adds that a driving ban should be ‘inevitable’ for anyone who has received 12 penalty points.

Neil Worth, GEM road safety officer, said: “It takes a particularly careless, thoughtless or reckless person to reach this level, and their disregard for the law means they each represent a big risk for the rest of us who share the roads with them.

“The time for drivers to consider the consequences of a ban should come long before they find themselves with the prospect of 12 points.

“Of course a ban will cause considerable levels of hardship. But courts need to give more thought to other road users – particularly the most vulnerable – who face the greatest danger when such high-risk drivers are allowed to keep their licences.”



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    I’d be interested in hearing views on how the system may be better designed to intervene. Should there perhaps be some special intervention at 9 points, in an attempt to reduce the risk of reaching 12 points? That intervention could be a mix of road safety advice plus warning about what losing the license (at 12 points) may mean for their families.

    I wonder if the case for hardship is too easily made. Last time I looked it was cheaper to get private hire taxis or Ubers in a year in urban areas than running a car. This all needs analysis and facts – ringing a taxi is not a hardship and would remove unsafe users from our roads. All too often urban courts are busy with violent crime and are too easily swayed by the sharp suits in driving cases.

    Peter, Liverpool
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    The totting-up process requires the driver to accumulate 12 points. This has effectively been increased with the introduction of courses in addition to the points allowance.
    You get 2 6-pointers or 4 3-pointers plus a course before you realise “Oh eck! I need my licence to make a living for me and my dependents.”
    If drivers are not wise enough to realise that they are on the road to the bus stop by the time they get to 2 offences, do we really want to share the road with them? Probably not and definitely not by the time they get to 12…or 15 if you count a course as the equivalent to 3 points.
    “Exceptional Hardship” is the go-to procedure for self-help motoring websites and shark-like practices of specialist motoring defence lawyers. How do magistrates and CPS miss this tactic? 99% of exceptional hardship excuses are bogus I would say.

    Billy Lewins, Sunderland
    Agree (3) | Disagree (2)

    We concentrate on individual thrill seekers but we must also consider the effects of organizational pressure to meet targets for those who use the vehicle for work purposes

    alan thompson
    Agree (3) | Disagree (3)

    “Or that in many cases, driving over a prescribed speed is an action that is safe and uneventful”

    Whatever I think of this statement, it pre-supposes that the points were awarded for speeding. They could be for infringing an ASL, crossing a red light, not having insurnace, etc.

    Given the numbers of apparent repeat offenders, you do wonder how many times courts feel it is Ok to break the law before someone is punished, regardless of the claims of who else might suffer.

    Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

    If the person who has been disqualified from his job is the sole provider for a family then the Courts will take that as hardship towards innocent parties ie. wife and kids and not disqualify.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    > Drivers know that and take advantage knowing that the Courts will be lenient on them if by being disqualified they and or their family will suffer hardship.

    Someone who, once disqualified, faces the loss of their job isn’t seen as “exceptional hardship” – this is seen as punishment, of sorts!

    The qualification for exceptional hardship is essentially unfair hardship upon other innocent parties; if the person who faces disqualification is a carer or sole source of transport for another vulnerable person, for example.

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

    That’s a theory David, but not actual practice – the drivers have told me themselves that they weren’t necessarily safe, but they did it anyway… bizarre behaviour.

    I’ll only go and see a psychologist with you if I do the driving….just a precaution. you understand.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (2) | Disagree (2)

    There is no deterrent. So long as our Court system takes into account a persons own circumstance and that they will lose their job and then the whole family will suffer and increase their need to claim benefits then nothing is going to change.

    Drivers know that and take advantage knowing that the Courts will be lenient on them if by being disqualified they and or their family will suffer hardship.

    So the Status Quo will remain.

    Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

    Or that in many cases, driving over a prescribed speed is an action that is safe and uneventful – and that drivers can and will use their experience to determine a speed which is safe, which based on the conditions – may be under or over a certain limit on a signpost.

    I look forward for the referral to a psychologist, perhaps we could attend one together?

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (2) | Disagree (2)

    I do wonder what it will take to deter some offenders. For some, the thrill of the moment seems to overide the fear of detection, prosecution and points/ban.. almost like an addiction – repeat speeders, drink-drivers etc. are not uncommon. I’ve met drivers on 10 or 11 points and when asked why they were still offending, there was often no answer, as if they just couldn’t help themselves. One for the psychologists I think.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (5) | Disagree (5)

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