There are 46 drivers who have been legally allowed to continue driving on UK roads, despite accruing more than 30 points in total – one of them amassing a whopping 68 points.
The high points drivers were revealed in records provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to a new report.
With drivers supposed to face bans once they accumulate 12 points on their licence at one time, it means some have been given special dispensation to carry on behind the wheel, despite racking up enough black marks to lose a licence at least 2.5 times over.
As well as the driver with a massive 68 points, another six UK licence holders have amassed 51 points or more, while 39 drivers have between 30 and 50 on their existing records.
An outrageous total of 46 Uk licence holders have been legally allowed to continue driving on UK roads despite amassing more than 30 points in total – one of them tallying a whopping 68 points
The research, conducted on behalf of MotorEasy, also highlights the areas of the country with the highest number of drivers over the threshold for disqualification.
Greater London leads the way with 1,194 people on or above the 12-point mark – with West Yorkshire (556), West Midlands (491), Merseyside (730) and Greater Manchester (348) making up the top five.
The latest available DVLA stats, revealed via a Freedom of Information request, are correct up to 3 April this year.
They reveal the list of shame of the top 51 motorists with the most points, with all having 28 or more on their licence.
A spokesman for the government body said: ‘The DVLA’s driver database changes constantly. Therefore, it is possible only to provide a snapshot of the state of the record at the time of any request.
‘The statistics provided are likely to include cases where drivers have received court sentences including disqualification, supervision orders, community punishment orders or imprisonment.
Number of UK drivers with more than double licence-losing points
68 points: 1 driver
66 points: 1 driver
63 points: 1 driver
60 points: 2 drivers
51 points: 2 drivers
48 points: 1 driver
45 points: 1 driver
42 points: 3 drivers
39 points: 2 drivers
38 points: 1 driver
36 points: 5 drivers
35 points: 1 driver
34 points: 1 driver
33 points: 4 drivers
32 points: 2 drivers
31 points: 3 drivers
30 points: 15 drivers
29 points: 2 drivers
28 points: 3 drivers
Source: DVLA figures accurate at 3 April provided to MotorEasy following an FOI request
‘Where sentences have been imposed other than through the totting up process, the penalty points follow standard periods of validity according to the offences concerned.
‘Following the period of disqualification imposed, drivers can re-apply for their licence meaning that they can have a high number of valid penalty points and current entitlement to drive, even though the sentence of the court has been served.
‘In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, we understand that a court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver.
‘In the majority of these cases, magistrates may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.
‘The DVLA checks with courts when a driver’s 12 current penalty point threshold is met or exceeded but where a disqualification is not imposed at the time of the conviction.’
Penalty points can be handed out for a wide range of offences. The most common include speeding, driving without insurance, failing to comply with traffic light signals and driving without due care and attention.
The DVLA stats showed there were a total of 8,237 drivers in England on or over the 12-point threshold, with men (6,837) far outnumbering women (1,400).
In Wales, the overall figure is 512 – with 413 male and 99 female motorists – while Scotland has a lower total figure of 225, split into 192 men and 33 women.
Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and CEO MotorEasy, said: ‘While most drivers throughout their lifetime will be hit with some points on their licence, this normally acts as a warning.
‘Penalty points often lead to higher insurance premiums and remain on your record for a number of years.
‘But these figures from the DVLA show that there is a worryingly larger number of motorists in the UK who, it seems, have made collecting points something of a hobby.
‘To have 68 penalty points on your licence shows an incredible amount of disrespect, not only for the law of the land but for other road users, too.’
Magistrates have attempted to tie up legal loopholes that have allowed drivers to remain on the road despite having an inordinate number of points on the licence
Days should be numbered for drivers being allowed to keep their licence with inordinate points
Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 states drivers who incur 12 or more penalty points on a driving licence must be disqualified for at least six months unless ‘the court is satisfied, having regard to all the circumstances, that there are grounds for mitigating the normal consequences of the conviction and thinks fit to order him to be disqualified for a shorter period or not to order him to be disqualified’.
But motorists have been able to take advantage of a legal loophole that allows them to claim that a suspension from driving would inflict ‘exceptional hardship’.
While there has been vague guidance for magistrates on how an exceptional hardship rule could be applied, there have been calls for a fuller explanation for how courts should deal with the issue.
As a result, a lengthy consultation with legal experts representing the Ministry of Justice last year outlined a list of specific rules that should be applied to drivers with 12 or more points.
The Sentencing Council ruled that loss of employment caused by a disqualification from driving is no longer sufficient alone to demonstrate exceptional hardship.
Offenders will now be required to prove that the loss of their licence is more than merely an inconvenience.
‘Almost every disqualification entails hardship for the person disqualified and their immediate family. This is part of the deterrent objective of the provisions combined with the preventative effect of the order not to drive,’ updated guidelines state.
It adds: ‘If a motorist continues to offend after becoming aware of the risk to their licence of further penalty points, the court can take this circumstance into account.
‘Courts should be cautious before accepting assertions of exceptional hardship without evidence that alternatives (including alternative means of transport) for avoiding exceptional hardship are not viable.’
It added that loss of employment will be ‘an inevitable consequence of a driving ban for many people’.
‘Evidence that loss of employment would follow from disqualification is not in itself sufficient to demonstrate exceptional hardship; whether or not it does will depend on the circumstances of the offender and the consequences of that loss of employment on the offender and/or others,’ new rules state.
The revised guidance took effect from 1 October 2020.
Incurring 12 or more penalty points within a three-year period means a minimum period of disqualification must be imposed under existing rules.
The minimum period is: six months if no previous disqualification is to be taken into account; one year if one previous disqualification is to be taken into account; two years if more than one previous disqualification is to be taken into account.
SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.