SOME 9,349 drivers are still legally on the roads with 12 or more licence points, data shows. Most have pleaded “exceptional hardship” in court to avoid a driving ban of up to two years.
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The DVLA told Auto express Express: “A court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver.”
Jack Cousens, of the AA, said “eyebrows will be raised” at the figures. “There are concerns from the Sentencing Council that the ‘exceptional hardship application’ used by drivers to keep their licence is used too frequently “It’ll be interesting to see what conclusions they come to.” Lord Justice Holroyde, chairman of the Sentencing Council, said: “The Council is aware of public concern that offenders w ho have incurred 12 penalty points or more are not always disqualified from driving.
“There are legitimate reasons why this might happen; the law allows for such a disqualification to be avoided or reduced for reasons of exceptional hardship.
“We have recently consulted on proposed new guidance that will set out clearly the matters to be considered by the courts when deciding exceptional hardship applications.
“We will consider the responses to that consultation, and will issue guidance that will help make sure these cases are dealt with fairly, consistently and in accordance with the law.”