More than a thousand drivers with 12 or more points on their licence are still being allowed to drive on the road, it has been revealed.
Figures published by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency indicate that a total of 1,278 drivers who are still driving currently have at least a dozen points.
The motorist with the most has racked up a staggering 68 points in total – enough to be disqualified from driving five times over – but remains behind the wheel today.
The information was made available after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Liberal Democrats.
It also indicated that there are 1,024,489 drivers in the UK who have points on their licences.
Liberal Democrat transport spokeswoman Sarah Olney said the UK Government should examine whether the right systems are in place to tackle problem drivers.
‘For the safety of everyone driving on our roads, it’s important that repeat offenders and dangerous drivers are kept off the roads,’ said Ms Olney.
‘It’s possible that there are mitigating factors in some cases which justify these drivers hanging on to their right to drive.
‘But if we are honest, if you have racked up a dozen points, you are probably a bad driver.
‘The UK Government should examine whether the right systems are in place to put the brakes on problem drivers.
‘With fewer drivers on the road than ever before, now is the time to consider what can be done.’
These new figures suggest that the motorist with 68 points on their licence has accumulated some of these during lockdown.
When the Daily Mail investigated the number of motorists with more than 12 points on their licence in March, it found that one man had 66 points and a further two men had 60 points – all of them retaining their licence at the time.
The next-worst offenders – all of them women – have kept their licences despite having between 48 and 59 points each, the figures revealed.
Our March investigation also found that the number of drivers with more than 12 points was substantially higher than what has been given to the Liberal Democrats, with figures provided for the investigation revealing that over 10,000 drivers are on the road despite having licence-losing points.
Amassing 12 or more points should – by law – result in an instant disqualification from driving for motorist.
However, thousands are believed to be exploiting a loophole whereby magistrates can use discretion to allow an offender to stay on the road if they believe it would cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to revoke their licence.
A spokesman for road safety charity Brake said: ‘If drivers who rack up 12 points aren’t banned, it makes a mockery of the system.’
There is no strict definition for exceptional hardship, which is judged on a case-by-case basis, but it could cover caring for a sick relative who relies on someone to drive them around.
John Bache, of the Magistrates’ Association, told the Daily Mail: ‘The process for establishing exceptional hardship is robust and magistrates scrutinise each case very carefully.’