Drivers passing the point of no return

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A number of motorists are still on the road despite being handed 12 or more points by the courts, The Falkirk Herald can reveal.

Drivers are usually disqualified once they accumulate 12 penalty points on their licence unless they can prove that such a ban would cause “exceptional hardship.”

Figures obtained by The Falkirk Herald show that a total of 19 people registered to an FK postcode can still legally drive despite accumulating 12 or more points.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency records show that 15 people have 12 points on their licence, one person has 13 points, another 14 and two people have 15 points.

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: “The points system is there to flag up problem areas of driving and give motorists the opportunity to improve before they amass enough points to lose their licence.

“A driver who is accumulating points has even more reason to change their driving so they do not reach 12 points. If they demonstrate bad driving persistently, they should be banned.

“Ultimately, the threat of disqualification needs to be there so people take the enforcement aspect of road safety seriously.”

If a driver reaches the points limit within a three-year period, then they are usually banned for a minimum of six months.

Sentencing judges however have discretion to allow individuals to escape disqualification if exceptional hardship can be proved.

Such hardship could for example be the effect on an individual’s employer or family if they were to lose their licence.

Richard Coteau, a spokesman for the road safety charity Brake, said that it was time for a government clampdown on irresponsible drivers.

He said: “It is outrageous these individuals, who rack up offence after offence, are allowed to continue driving, causing enormous risk to the public.

“Drivers who repeatedly flout traffic laws have shown complete disregard for the lives of other road users.”

Gordon Addison, a lawyer at Nelsons Solicitors in Camelon, said: “In the event that anyone is facing endorsement of their driving licence that may result in disqualification, they should seek advice at an early stage from an experienced criminal defence lawyer.”