According to figures released by the DVLA following a freedom of information request by the Press Association, there are currently 8,362 drivers with active driving licences that have incurred 12 points or more within three years. That’s despite committing motoring offences including speeding, which can accrue three to six points and drink driving, which can be up to 11 points.
“These dangerous repeat offenders have been granted ample opportunity to change their driving behaviour,” he said.
“Yet they continue to put lives at risk through their complete disregard for the law.”
And that’s a view echoed by motoring associations including the AA, whose Head of Roads Policy is Jack Couzens.
He also holds a dim view of the offenders, saying they had demonstrated “continuous poor driving” and should have their “licences taken away”.
Despite this outcry, there are countless law firms who advertise online promising to help drivers who have totted up 12 points or more to avoid a ban.
Current rules mean that if a driver is disqualified from driving twice within three years, the ban is doubled to a year.
That ban doubles again to two years for three disqualifications within three years.
But drivers are circumnavigating the bans, and it’s these loopholes many want to see closed.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Cox leads the National Police Chief’s Council’s work on fatal collisions and feels that pleading poverty is no excuse.
He said he would “welcome the removal” of the exceptional hardship clause, describing it as a “glaring example of where the system is out of kilter”.
Any driver currently banned from driving for 56 days or more has to apply for a new licence and may even have to take a new driving test if a court deems it necessary.
And Cox feels that drivers escaping punishment is “completely wrong” and that a change of culture is needed.
With five people dying on average every day on the UK’s roads plus another 60 injured, the emergency services face constant carnage, with 90 to 95 percent of crashes likely caused by driver error, according to police.
“We don’t need to have that devastation, it is preventable,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Cox.
“More people in the UK die because of a road collision than they do because of murder or terrorism combined.”