Driver with 66 points on his licence 'allowed to stay on road thanks to legal loophole'

Library filer of a speed camera in Worcester, 22/03/2004. Speed cameras have led to a surge of penalty points on drivers' licences, a poll out Thursday March 9, 2006, showed. About 16% of motorists now have penalty points, with 3% being one offence away from a driving ban, the survey from motor insurance company Direct Line showed. See PA story TRANPORT Speed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: David Davies / PA.   (Photo by David Davies - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Most drivers who accrue penalty points receive them for speeding. (PA Images via Getty Images)

A motorist with 66 penalty points on his licence has avoided a driving ban because of a legal loophole, it has been reported.

The man is one of thousands of drivers who would normally be banned but are still on the road thanks to individual decisions made by magistrates.

According to figures obtained by the Daily Mail, more than 10,000 motorists have escaped bans because it would cause “exceptional hardship” to take them off the road.

In addition to the male motorist with 66 points, there are two other men with 60 points each who remain on the road.

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A number of other drivers, all women, are still allowed to drive despite amassing between 48 and 59 points each.

If a driver accrues 12 or more penalty points in the space of three years it usually results in an instant ban.

Magistrates can opt to keep drivers with 12 penalty points or more on the road (PA Images via Getty Images)
Magistrates can opt to keep drivers with 12 or more penalty points on the road. (PA Images via Getty Images)

However, a magistrate may use their own discretion and allow a driver to remain on the road if they believe banning them would cause exceptional hardship.

This may include requiring a car to care for an elderly or sick relative or needing it for their job.

The Daily Mail said there are 10,589 motorists on the road with 12 points or more – 8,797 men and 1,792 women.

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The most common offence was speeding in a 30mph zone.

A spokesman for road safety charity Brake told the Daily Mail: “If drivers who rack up 12 points aren't banned, it makes a mockery of the system.”

John Bache, chairman of the Magistrates' Association, said: “The process for establishing exceptional hardship is robust and magistrates scrutinise each case very carefully.”