Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Keeping Death Off The Roads

Clearly, it’s not a job that the magistrates take very seriously:
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.

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.
Here's someone who's just not learning his lesson.

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.


Bucko said...

You could argue, if he hasn't harmed anyone, that it isn't that he's not learning his lesson but simply ignoring arbitary diktats from on high.
As you say, that will be the worst case but most of the others will simply have had a lot of speeding tickets, or no seatbelts or something. Hardly justification for loss of your licence.
After all, 54 points comes with 18 fines. You cant fine someone after you have stopped them driving.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

It's Teesside. They do things differently there.

JuliaM said...

"You cant fine someone after you have stopped them driving."

Is he paying those fines though? Look at the large percentage that gets written off each year...

"It's Teesside. They do things differently there."


Angry Exile said...

As Bucko said, who died? If the answer is nobody at all, which is the case with the vast majority of them - and issued by an automated, speed measuring, licence endorser at the side of the road much of the time - then what purpose was served by issuing the Fixed Penalty Notice in the first place? If what was done was dangerous then it needs to be spotted by a copper who will put down the fucking donut and go and tug the driver, before giving... ahem, sorry, proceeding to give the driver either a advice, a lecture, a warning, a ticket, more than one ticket, a quick inspection of vehicle roadworthiness, all depending at plod's discretion and depending on what was done and the driver's attitude. The trouble is that in the long term a career's worth or donuts and coffee, not to mention the training and equipping of a traffic cop, is a lot more expensive than sticking up another fucking camera and telling everyone that road safety is somehow magically enhanced by detecting people exceeding an arbitrary speed and, because of the urgency demanded by this wantonly dangerous behaviour, putting a naughty note and an invoice in the mail to arrive several days to two weeks after the offence. Makes perfect sense, really, it's just the same way parents wait until their misbehaving toddlers are hitting puberty before they tell them off... oh, wait, that's right. No sane parent does that.

Angry Exile said...

"... a advice..."? Twat. I'm going to bed.