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Dangerous Drivers Still on the Road

September, 3 2011


Official statistics show that over 130 Suffolk drivers remain on the road with 12 points or more on their licence.

One driver in the Ipswich area had even totalled over 21 points on his licence.

Drivers are liable to be banned from driving for amounting 12 penalty points on their licence within a three-year period.

However, the driver may be let off if they can prove that the ban would cause "exceptional hardship" to them, their family or their employees.

Official statistics have shown that a large number of drivers in the Ipswich area are allowed to continue to drive with 12 points or more.

The miscommunication between the DVLA and the courts may be a cause for the high number, according to Graham Higgins, chairman of Suffolk Magistrates' Association.

“Drivers cannot use the exceptional hardship argument more than once in three years," explained Mr Higgins.

"Most will put forward all the arguments they can muster when they first appear.

"It seems likely that most, if not all of those recorded with a very high number of points, have failed to be disqualified as a consequence of some breakdown in communication in the system.

“Investigation nationally showed that for at least some of the drivers, failures to properly record points on their driver record led to an inaccurate record being available online to the court from DVLA, as many drivers mislay, fail or are unable to produce the paper part of their driving licence in court and the court relies on that DVLA record.

“If the DVLA information is inaccurate it may be that the driver escapes being dealt with as a ‘totter’.

“The Magistrates’ Association was naturally concerned about the situation and wrote to the responsible minister, who asked the various bodies to work to improve their communications.

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