Many motorists are escaping driving bans even after racking up 12 or more penalty points, new figures have revealed.
According to data obtained by Auto Express through a Freedom of Information request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), 19,848 people in England and Wales had at least 12 points on their licence in July 2015.
More than 7,000 of these individuals were found to have avoided being hit with a driving ban in court. This is about 500 up on the amount recorded in May 2015.
Neil Davies, a senior partner at law firm Caddick Davies, has stressed that these drivers are not being let off a ban because of any legal loopholes.
Instead, they have been able to demonstrate how being disqualified would cause genuine hardship rather than a mere inconvenience.
"It must be remembered that if the court agrees not to disqualify the motorist, they will still remain with any penalty points on their driving licence and may only make this application once every three years on the same grounds," Mr Davies commented.
This, he said, means they will not be able to use the same reasoning if they commit another offence within three years.
The DVLA added that the court takes up the option of not disqualifying the driver in a "small percentage of cases".
A spokesperson said examples of exceptional hardship can include someone losing their job and subsequently their home if they are restricted from driving.
Alternatively, courts may exercise their discretion and not ban a driver if it would mean they are unable to care for a disabled relative or a family member who relies completely on their help.
Posted on 10th August 2015
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