More than 50 Doncaster motorists with 12 points or more on their licences – including one with 30 points – have escaped driving bans, The Star can reveal.
New figures revealed there are 55 drivers on the town’s roads who have not been disqualified despite accumulating enough points on their licence to have earned a temporary ban.
This includes an unnamed man who has notched up 30 points. Six of his offences were for speeding in the space of two months. His was the fifth highest points total of all motorists in the UK but because he proved to a magistrate he would suffer hardship without his car, he avoided an automatic ban.
Courts can use discretion to not enforce a ban if this would cause major problems, such as the person losing their job.
But the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), which revealed the figures, said magistrates were allowing ‘banned’ drivers to wriggle out of the punishment all too often. Chief executive Simon Best said: “Any suggestion some drivers may be able to speed with impunity and talk themselves out of a ban puts our whole approach to enforcement into question.
“The police and the motoring public need to have confidence that those caught speeding or breaking other motoring laws will be dealt with equally.”
The road safety charity Brake called for an automatic ban when any driver reached 12 points. Deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: “These irresponsible individuals have shown disregard for the law and the lives of other road users, time after time.”
The male driver with 30 points committed eight motoring offences between May 15 and July 13. He was from the DN12 area, which covers Conisbrough, Denaby and Edlington.
There is also a driver from the DN09 area, which contains Finningley, Haxey and Auckley, with 21 points.
The figures, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, showed there are 16, 628 motorists in the borough with points on their licence.
Stuart Walne, South Yorkshire Police’s chief inspector for roads policing, said: “A lot of motoring offences come with three points, so to have 12 points, they have committed four offences. We would expect that person to be banned.
“If you have committed a high number of motoring offences you are a potential danger and we would expect a ban.” A spokesman for the HM Courts and Tribunal Service said: “The vast majority of drivers who get 12 or more penalty points are fined and disqualified from driving.
“Magistrates can use discretion to not enforce a driving ban if doing so would cause exceptional hardship, such as losing a job or the ability to care for a dependent. A fine will still be enforced.”
The figures show drivers with active points on their licence as of November 2013.
Points stay on a licence for up to 11 years for the most serious offences.