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Lancashire Driver Remains on Road After 30 Points

July, 7 2011


An East Lancashire motorist who amassed 30 points on his driving licence but evaded disqualification from driving.

Although a shocking statistic, the driver is just one of 165 people from East Lancashire with 12 or more points on their licence, but still allowed to drive on the road.

Unless the motorist can prove that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship, 12 points is the level at which an automatic ban is issued.

The motorist, from Blackburn, is also one of 61 people with 12 points or more and still permitted to drive.

A fellow motorist in nearby Nelson has also collected 22 points with two other drivers from Clitheroe and Rossendale, each on 21 points.

One road safety charity has already described the statistics as "appalling," demanding that more bans should be enforced.

Jack Straw, MP for Blackburn, found it difficult to understand how somebody with 30 penalty points could retain their licence.

Speaking on behalf of road safety charity Brake, Caroline Perry said: “It’s appalling that so many people are being allowed to drive with more than 12 points on their licence.

“By breaking the law these drivers have shown a wilful disregard for the safety of other road users.

“All drivers have a responsibility to keep others on the roads safe and these people have shown that on numerous occasions they refuse to take this responsibility seriously.

“Allowing them to continue driving is sending out a message to other drivers that it is acceptable to continually break the law.

"We would urge the Government to help stamp this out and provide justice for those families whose lives have been devastated by dangerous drivers.”

In an attempt to clear up the confusion, Chris Hunt-Cooke, chairman of the road traffic committee for The Magistrates' Association said:“Drivers who collect 12 or more points on their licence within three years will be told to attend court because they are liable to be disqualified for a minimum period of six months.

“They may possibly escape this if they can convince the court that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship, either to themselves or other people.

“All disqualification is liable to cause some inconvenience, so the hardship has to be exceptional if it is to influence the court.

“Courts are liable to take more account of hardship to other people, because they are suffering through the fault of someone else.

“For example if someone has a very small business, employing just a few people, and is the only person who can go out and get sales, his employees may lose their jobs if he cannot drive.

“The court might consider that to be exceptional hardship, but would look at what other alternatives might be available before deciding.

"Can he take taxis or can someone else drive him around for example.”

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