The Institute for Advanced Motorists has said that the penalty points system currently used in the UK needs overhauling, as it emerged that one man has not been banned despite amassing 45 points on his licence. Under current legislation, drivers that rack up 12 points in three years face being banned, but the court has discretionary powers to be able to allow drivers to remain behind the wheel. New drivers face a stricter system, and could be banned if they amass six points in two years.
One Liverpool driver has been found to have accumulated 45 points on his licence between October 2012 and June 2013, just eight months. It took eight offences of speeding or failing to provide driver details to reach this points tally, but the man has been able to retain his licence even though he has the highest number of points of any driver in the UK.
Failing to give the identity of the owner is one of the most common offences, and can carry similar penalties to those that are given for an actual speeding offence. Speeding and driving without insurance are the two other most common offences that typically lead to points on a licence. Any offence that is punishable through the use of the penalty points system can carry between 2 and 11 points.
Whereas most drivers can gain 12 points in a three year period before they face the possibility of a ban, new drivers can be banned if they receive just six points in the first two years after passing their practical test. While a ban is possible for those that amass 12 points in three years, the points themselves remain on a driver’s licence for a period of four years.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists has called for changes to the current system, saying that because drivers are allowed to continue driving even once they reach a total of 12 points, it means that the system is not working and is not being implemented in the way that it was designed. The IAM previously highlighted a driver with 42 points that was still legally allowed behind the wheel of their car.