The DVLA and UK courts are being urged to take action on the 11,000-plus drivers who still hold licences despite having 12 or more points.
The call comes from IAM RoadSmart, which says it’s six years since it first revealed the scale of the issue and believes that little action has been taken in the intervening years.
Research by the charity back in 2013 following a Freedom of Information request found there were 12,470 drivers with more than 12 points on their licences on the roads legally. As a result, the IAM subsequently met with the DVLA to discuss solutions.
Now, IAM RoadSmart says it’s highly concerned that the number of drivers who should have been banned still runs into five figures, as highlighted this month when Justin Madders, MP of Ellesmere Port and Neston, asked Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling for the figures.
Solutions previously proposed by IAM RoadSmart covered:
- Where ‘exceptional hardship’ has been used as an excuse for not losing a licence, that the reason for this plea is recorded. Then the driver cannot use the same excuse twice
- The DVLA was due to introduce a new computer system which would allow courts to see past offences and reasons given
- The courts with the poorest records of not banning drivers who have over 12 points should be named and shamed
- Better training for magistrates and better sharing of information with DVLA.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said that while there is now better sharing of information between courts and the DVLA, many decisions on whether drivers should be banned are made by the courts without enough information from the DVLA – a process that needs to change urgently.
He said: “The DVLA told us they would sort this issue out years ago, and judging by the current numbers, it simply has not happened effectively enough. Licences need to be removed and drivers who have committed repeat offences encouraged to take remedial courses to bring home the impact of their behaviour and promote safer, more responsible driving behaviour in future.
“IAM RoadSmart calls on the DVLA to quickly extract all such cases manually and ask courts why there has been a non-disqualification on 12 or more points, so appropriate action can be taken to get irresponsible and dangerous drivers off our roads.”
Greig added: “Quite simply these are drivers who should be banned. Allowing them to continue to drive in all but exceptional circumstances not only undermines public trust in the well understood ‘four strikes and you’re out’ totting up method of driving punishments, it also put these motorists and other road users across the UK at greater risk.”