Scores of drivers escape road ban
MORE than 50 drivers who should have been banned are still behind the wheel in Gloucestershire.
A road safety campaigner has questioned the system of awarding penalty points to errant drivers after figures revealed 56 motorists in the county had 12 or more points on their licence – the threshold for immediate disqualification.
The figures were released by the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
Some of those cases are now pending prosecutions, but in others some of the defendants have argued that a ban would cause them exceptional hardship.
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Garry Handley, driver training manager from Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, said: "The whole system is there to illustrate to motorists that they are not coping very well.
"Penalty points give them the opportunity to reflect on their poor driving standards.
"When the motorist doesn't take the opportunity to learn, they are regarded as too irresponsible to drive. Whether or not they should be driving is a matter for the courts."
Magistrates have the discretion to allow drivers with 12 points – a procedure known as totting-up – or more to keep their licences.
A motorist can be disqualified from driving if convicted of a driving offence, or if they accrue 12 or more penalty points on their licence within a three-year period.
In cases other than drink driving or death by dangerous driving, a court has the discretion to allow a driver to keep their licence, if disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of road safety charity Brake, said: "Bad driving causes deaths and life-changing injuries that tear families apart and affect whole communities.
"All drivers have a responsibility to ensure they aren't putting others at risk, and are helping to prevent these needless casualties."