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‘Appalling’ 85 Suffolk drivers still have licence with 12 points or more

Speed camera on the A140 by the Coddenham turn. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Speed camera on the A140 by the Coddenham turn. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Archant

An “appalling” 85 drivers still have licences despite reaching or exceeding the 12 penalty point ‘automatic ban’ threshold.

Police checking motorists in Mount Road, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWENPolice checking motorists in Mount Road, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWEN

Road safety campaigners said motorists topping the limit “made a mockery” of the points system.

One Lowestoft driver amassed two 10-point penalties for driving an uninsured vehicle, while six people with at least four separate speeding offences still have their licences in Ipswich.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) provided a ‘snapshot’ of records at the time of a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

It said there can be a delay between notification of penalty points and a court sentence, over which it has no influence.

A spokesman added: “In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the agency understands that a court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver.

“The statistics are likely to include cases where drivers have received court sentences, including disqualification, supervision orders, community punishment orders or imprisonment. Following the period of disqualification imposed, drivers can reapply for their licence, meaning they can have a high number of valid penalty points and current entitlement to drive, even though the sentence has been served.”

The DVLA said it checks with courts when a disqualification is not imposed for meeting or exceeding the threshold.

A total of 25 drivers with licences registered to Ipswich addresses are on the list, with 12 in Bury St Edmunds and six in Beccles, Felixstowe and Lowestoft.

Many have reached the limit through the ‘totting up’ process of accumulating points for several offences, including one Ipswich licence holder with five separate speeding endorsements.

Jason Wakeford, of road safety charity Brake, said: “It’s appalling that risky repeat offenders in Suffolk are being allowed to carry on driving with so many points.

“These drivers have shown disregard for the law and the safety of other road users putting people in danger and making a mockery of the system.

“Brake will continue to call on government to ensure all drivers with more than 12 points receive an automatic ban, and to provide police with the resources necessary to enforce the full extent of the law.”

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