20 POINTS AND REDDITCH DRIVER KEEPS LICENCE

POTENTIALLY “deadly” drivers with as many as 20 points are driving on West Midland streets after magistrates allowed them to keep their licences.

Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that two drivers in the West Midlands have amassed 20 points.

In total there are 295 motorists who live in the region with 12 points or more still being allowed behind the wheel – in spite of guidance to courts that only under “exceptional” circumstances should they be allowed to continue.

Also on the roads alongside law-abiding drivers are eight with 19 points, three with 18, five with 17 and 34 with 16.

The total has sparked fears from safety groups who say allowing motorists who “flout the law” and continue in spite of amassing horrific records could result in tragedy.

Road safety charity Brake said failing to ban “selfish and potentially deadly” drivers was outrageous.

The worst postcodes in the Midlands for sheer numbers of people with points on their licences are leafy B74, which includes millionaire’s choice Little Aston with 3,124 drivers, B77 Wilnecote in Tamworth with 3,850 and B90 in Shirley, Solihull with 3,624.

The two drivers with 20 points live in Lea Hall, Birmingham, and Redditch. The survey includes Birmingham and surrounding areas such as Sandwell, Tamworth and Henley-in-Arden.

Brake spokesman Richard Coteau said: “It is outrageous these individuals, who rack up offence after offence are allowed to continue driving, causing enormous risk to the public.

“Drivers who repeatedly flout traffic laws have shown complete disregard for the lives of other road users.

“They have had ample opportunity to desist breaking the law before reaching 12 points and facing disqualification.

“It’s time for the Government to get tough with these selfish, irresponsible and potentially deadly drivers, and put a stop to their illegal and dangerous driving before it results in a devastating crash.”

The DVLA revealed that in the B postcode region on November 19 there were 812 drivers disqualified after totting up 12 or more penalty points.

Under the totting up procedure, should a driver receive 12 points over a three-year period court guidelines say an automatic disqualification of six months should be imposed. Only if the court accepts a submission of “exceptional hardship”, either financially or personally, can such a ban be overturned.

But in the B postcode region there is a total of 295 motorists still able to use their vehicles after accumulating 12 points or more.

Nationally, official figures show there are 10,072 motorists who should have been banned but managed to persuade the courts they should be able to keep their licence.

With three points generally handed out for speeding offences, in the B postcode area there are 2,749 motorists on the brink of facing a battle to avoid disqualification on nine points, with 219 on 10, and 131 on 11.

Andy Gilbert, chair of West Midlands Police Federation, said: “Sentences for all offences should be effective in order to protect the public and as a deterrent effect to prevent further offences.”

Andy Goldby, director of underwriting and pricing at Direct Line, said: “It seems exceptional hardship isn’t that exceptional after all. Someone who has accumulated more than 12 points on their licence has shown a complete disrespect for the law.

“It sends out an entirely wrong message that these individuals are still allowed to drive. Drivers with points on their licence are statistically more likely to have a collision and the likelihood increases with the more points they have.’’

It comes after the number of drink drivers in the West Midlands have increased and The Police Christmas Crackdown and warnings to drivers to leave the car at home during nights out seems to of failed.

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