Road safety campaigners have revealed that a driver with 39 penalty points on their licence, the highest number in Britain, has not been banned from driving.
Drivers with 12 points on their licence usually face a six-month driving ban which is why campaigners are so shocked that a driver with 39 penalty points has not been removed from the roads.
The information was obtained by BBC West by making a Freedom of Information request to the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The driver is from the Swindon area but the DVLA would not reveal the offences that had led to the accumulation of 39 penalty points.
Kath Hartley, from the road safety campaign group Brake, said it was "completely unacceptable" that a driver with this number of penalty points had not been banned from driving. She called for all drivers who have twelve points on their licence to be banned from driving for six months: "Any driver who exceeds this [12 points] has shown they repeatedly break the law and are a hazard to other road users."
She said the ban should be imposed as a "punishment" and to give the offending driver time to "reflect" on their actions. In addition, it would ensure other road users' safety to have them off the roads for a while.
The courts can exercise their discretion when deciding whether or not to impose a driving ban. If a driver can show that losing their licence would cause significant hardship, a court can decide not to ban them from driving.
Significant hardship could be shown if a driver lives in a remote or isolated area and has no other way of getting around, or if they are the sole carer of a disabled child or adult and need to be able to drive in order to care for them. Alternatively, significant hardship can be shown if the driver drives in order to earn a living, for example a lorry driver, and that if they lost their licence, they would lose their income.
However, it is unknown as to what level of hardship could outweigh the accumulation of 39 penalty points. Elliot Griffiths from the Magistrates' Association said there is clearly "something wrong" in this case.
Read more on the story (Daily Mail)
Learn more about penalty points (FindLaw)
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