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Black Country driver allowed to keep licence despite having 36 penalty points

By Rob Golledge | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A motorist from the Black Country has been allowed to continue driving despite having 36 penalty points on their licence.

On six separate occasions the motorist from Wednesbury failed to identify the driver of their vehicle to the police or the courts after an alleged offence – racking up six penalty points each time.

The figure is three times the 12 point mark normally needed to trigger a ban.

Figures released today also reveal a learner driver from Smethwick has also been allowed to keep their licence despite amassing 30 penalty points. The driver was convicted of being uninsured on four occasions and of one count of failing to identify the driver of their vehicle to authorities.

The motorists are the two worst drivers to escape disqualification in the West Midlands in a list released by the DVLA under the Freedom of Information Act.

The list also includes two drivers from Coventry who have 27 points, a motorist from Stoke with 26, and four others from Walsall, Madeley in Shropshire, Birmingham, and Coventry who have racked up 24 penalty points.

A full licence holder from Bloxwich is still driving legally despite having 22 points, as is a provisional driver from Stoke.

Magistrates have the discretion over whether to waive a ban after 12 penalty points have been accrued if the motorist can demonstrate 'exceptional hardship' that would be caused by not being allowed to drive.

Individual driving offences lead to between one and 11 points being given by the courts. Death by dangerous driving carries between three and 11 points.

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A DVLA spokesman said: "In the majority of these cases, magistrates may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.

"The statistics provided are likely to include cases where drivers have received court sentences including disqualification, supervision orders, community punishment orders or imprisonment. Where sentences have been imposed other than through the totting up process, the penalty points follow standard periods of validity according to the offences concerned. Following the period of disqualification imposed, drivers can re-apply for their licence meaning that they can have a high number of valid penalty points and current entitlement to drive, even though the sentence of the court has been served.

"DVLA checks with courts when a driver’s 12 current penalty point threshold is met or exceeded but where a disqualification is not imposed at the time of the conviction.

"The agency takes this action to confirm that this is the intention of the court and to help ensure DVLA records motoring convictions and sentences as accurately as possible."

The figures were revealed by Liberal Democrat Black Country campaigner Paul Butters, who said: “It is outrageous that these selfish, repeat offenders are being allowed to continue driving. These people who have clocked up 12 points have been given enough time to change their behaviour. I believe that allowing these drivers to continue on the road makes a mockery of the system. It is time for courts to crack down on these irresponsible individuals.”

Rob Golledge

By Rob Golledge
@golledge_star

Part of the Express & Star special projects team responsible for investigations and major stories from politics to counter terrorism

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