Motorists still slipping through the net

Published: Thursday September 12, 2013

report from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has revealed that motorists are failing to be banned from driving despite racking up more than treble the amount of points required to merit a ban.

Figures from the DVLA indicate that a female in Isleworth amassed 42 points in 2012, all for failing to disclose the identity of a driver caught speeding. Current regulations indicate that a driver should receive a temporary ban if they are awarded 12 or more points on their licence in a three-year spell. In the above case, the courts chose not to enforce a ban, as per their legislative discretion, but the true extent of the failing to ban epidemic has now been revealed. Road safety campaigners have expressed their anger at the findings.

In a news story run by the BBC News website, the IAM also indicated other cases where drivers with high points totals had been excused a ban from driving:

  • A Blackburn man who gained 29 points for speeding over a three-month period
  • A Warrington man who gained 36 points for driving without insurance six times in less than two weeks
  • A Southend man who gained 30 points for speeding over an 18-month period
  • An East Sussex man who gained 24 points for speeding over a two week period.

Whilst DVLA figures show that the number of individuals remaining able to drive despite having 30 or more points stands at just eight, the IAM have calculated that 7,621 people are still driving with 12 or more points.

Simon Best, Chief Executive of the IAM, made his feelings on the issue palpably clear: "Drivers must expect that 12 points means a ban or the whole system falls into disrepute."

The DVLA and the HM Courts & Tribunals Service are upgrading their computer systems with the aim of  sharing offence information more efficiently, but with such updates not due until October, incidents such as those described above will continue to be commonplace. 

Such worrying information make the thoroughness of driving licence checks all the more crucial. Employers have a duty of care to ensure employees - professional drivers, company car scheme 'opt out' drivers, grey fleet and pool car users - are correctly licensed and entitled to drive.

Employers should therefore use a service that operates using accurate and systematic online verification methods, as oppose to manual checks carried out by many organisations. Employers should also take care to utilise a system of driving licence checking that allows them to view a list of their drivers according to the number of points on their licences, rather than simply listing any individuals who may have been disqualified from driving. As ever, increased and efficient information is the key to prevention and ensuring that duties of care are satisfactorily met.

Daniel Storey

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