Our opinion on the legal world, and how it could affect you

Driver with 45 Points on Licence avoids Driving Ban

16th Mar 2015

A Liverpool Driver is still on the road despite having 45 Points – just 6 less than Liverpool Football Club have today! So how is this possible?

The fact that he is still driving is provoking claims that Magistrates are too lenient when dealing with Drivers who tot up on the Penalty Points procedure & that poor communication between Courts and DVLA enables Drivers to avoid bans.

Driving organisations and safety campaigners have repeatedly highlighted Cases such as this as an indication that the law is not being properly enforced – in other words once you reach 12 Points in a 3 year period you should be banned for 6 months.

However, Drivers who fall foul of the Totting Up procedure can avoid a ban if they satisfy Magistrates that this would cause them or, preferably others “exceptional hardship.” Another loophole Drivers try to exploit is not identifying who was driving the vehicle when it was caught speeding on camera. However there are serious implications for you (including an immediate Prison sentence) if you do this dishonestly.

A Freedom of Information response from DVLA shows there are almost 7,000 motorists still at the wheel who have received 12 or more Points in the past three years.

Top of this league is the man from Liverpool with an incredible 45 Points on his licence. He was caught speeding three times in a 30mph zone and failed to provide information as to the identity of the driver on five occasions.

Of the 6,801 motorists still driving with more than 12 points, 1,182 have 15 points or more and of these 24 have at least double the points that would normally lead to a ban.

Frank Rogers Head of the Motoring Prosecutions Team at Brown Turner Ross commented

“Without knowing exactly what the man from Liverpool was convicted of and when, it is difficult to fully explain how he is still driving with 45 Points but here is some background information

  • failing to identify the driver of a vehicle carries 6 Penalty Points
  • speeding carries a minimum of 3 Points and a maximum of 6 or in some cases a disqualification from driving
  • when more than one Offence is committed at one time with each attracting Points only the highest score counts towards the Totting Up figure of 12

An “exceptional hardship” argument is now harder to succeed with than it used to be in my experience based on appearing in Courts throughout England & Wales. Prosecutors now vigorously cross examine Defendants putting them to strict proof of the argument being advanced. In essence you should note the following

  • the hardship should not count if it only impacts on you
  • ideally it should affect Employees where your ability to run a business if you are banned will put the business at risk & therefore jeopardise the jobs of your Employees
  • at worst it needs to affect members of your family - if you can show that you would lose your job, if banned, & that Mortgage repayments would then be impossible to make putting the family home at risk of being repossessed this may succeed
  • any exceptional hardship argument can only be relied on once in a 3 year period

One of the weaknesses in the current system is that very often the basis on which an exceptional hardship argument is upheld is not fully documented. This can mean that on a subsequent occasion where the same Defendant appears in another Court and the same argument is advanced there is no documentation to show the Court that this argument has been used already.

An exceptional hardship argument requires very careful preparation & needs to be advanced by an experienced Advocate specialising in this type of work with as much supporting evidence as possible. You need to show that all options available to you if banned from driving e.g.

  • Taxis
  • Public transport
  • A driver at your disposal when required

are for one reason or another not viable.

This is probably not the League that Liverpool wants to top but Magistrates have obviously been persuaded that this Driver should not be banned & that is what Solicitors such as myself are paid to achieve."

For Free initial advice on any Motoring Prosecution in any Court in England & Wales call us 24/7 on 0800 195 7517