Still driving, even with 20 points on their licence

One motorist in Newham is still driving despite having 23 points on their licence for driving offences.

Figures from the DVLA obtained by the Recorder under the Freedom of Information Act have shown the borough has 57 drivers with 12 penalty points.

Under its rules a driver with 12 or more penalty points within three years should be disqualified from getting behind the wheel of a car. It is up to Magistrates to decide if a ban or disqualification is appropriate in individual cases.

However, as of June 8, one East Ham motorist is still on the borough’s roads despite having 23 points. In Forest Gate there are two who are continuing to drive with 20 points.

In Stratford and Canning Town there 11 and 9 motorists respectively who have 12 points on their licences.

A spokeswoman for the DVLA said “The courts are able to use their discretion to decide whether or not to disqualify a driver.

“The DVLA’s role is to record the information provided by the courts. We have recently concluded a comprehensive review into how we communicate with the courts, and will implement any necessary changes to make sure that there are rigorous processes in place so that only those who are entitled to drive are allowed to hold a licence.”

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She also said its important to note that the information provided reflects the position as at June 8 2011 and reflects the state of the driver record at that moment in time. There can be a delay between the notification of penalty points and of disqualification. These can update the driver record separately. If we were to run a scan again in a week’s time the position could be very much different.

In a small number of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the DVLA understands that a Court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver. In the majority of these cases, Magistrates may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.