Over 200 Welsh drivers are legally driving despite having 12 or more penalty points on their licences. This was discovered and reported by the BBC at the end of the July. The information was obtained via a Freedom of Information Request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). As of 4th June, there are 213 people in Wales entitled to drive despite having 12 or more penalty points. One driver was found to have 27 penalty points.
Accordingly to UK law you can be banned from driving if you get more than 12 penalty points in 3 years. Anyone with 12 points or more has to attend court to make their case. The punishment for their points will also be decided.
Court Discretion for Drivers with 12+ Penalty Points
A spokesperson commenting on behalf of the DVLA to the BBC asserted that: “In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the court may 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.”
Each court has its own right to choose whether or not to ban people from driving. It is clear in Wales many people need their vehicles for daily life. Many areas of Wales are quite remote which makes it hard for people to get around without their cars.
Many industry bodies and road safety charities are less than pleased with the discovery. Speaking on behalf of Brake, Jack Kushner told the BBC: “Drivers who flout the law repeatedly have shown disregard for not only their own lives but also those of other road users, and should be punished accordingly.
It’s time for the courts to protect innocent road users and crack down on these irresponsible individuals.”
The standard disqualification for twelve penalty points is 6 months. This increases if it a repeat offence or if a second offence occurs in the following three years.
It is up to the individual court to decide the best action in every court case involving a driver with 12 or more penalty points. However, there are high risks to having drivers who repeatedly offend on the roads.