More than one in four drivers who racked up 12 penalty points escaped being banned from the roads last year.More than a quarter?
One motorist managed to keep his licence after running up 54 points, more than four times the level that should have seen him disqualified from driving.Now, OK, that’s just one motorist, and I’m sure the ‘Fail’ picked the worst example possible, but come on…
The disclosure of the figures brought criticism of the leniency of magistrates' courts, which are supposed to allow drivers with 12 points to escape a ban only if it would cause 'exceptional hardship'.Unfortunately, as we’ve seen recently, that definition of ‘exceptional hardship’ seems to encompass some very surprising situations.
But what about the example given? What are the facts of this motorist’s transgressions?
Among those who qualified for leniency was a 27-year-old man from Stockton-on-Tees, near Middlesbrough, who amassed 54 points.Here's someone who's just not learning his lesson.
His offences began three years ago when he was convicted of using a mobile phone while driving and scored three points on his licence.
He was convicted of the same offence on a further six occasions over the next four months.
He was also twice guilty of failing to tell police who was driving his vehicle when a suspected offence was committed.
In April this year, he was convicted again for using a mobile at the wheel, along with a further conviction for driving 'otherwise than in accordance with a licence'.
The unidentified driver was finally banned last month, shortly after a newspaper submitted a freedom of information request to the DVLA.
But the magistrates seem to have learnt a lesson, don't they? Unless you believe the timing of his (eventual) ban is just co-incidence.