Tag Archives: penalty points

Nothing but the whole motoring truth

points_speedAfter a recent Freedom of Information report confirmed that some motorists were out and about on UK roads with as many as 45 points on their driving licence a lot of us were understandably annoyed that the ‘system’ could allow this to happen. And for how long has this been going on?

Especially knowing that points usually mean that drivers haven’t been paying attention to local road signs and conditions.

In fact it is that lack of concentration, which can so quickly become driver error, that causes serious road accidents, particularly when linked to inappropriate speed in so many cases.

But how can this be? Surely the DVLA can see the offenders (mainly men I hasten to add) and send someone round to reprimand them accordingly and remove their driving licence before their points start to accumulate…

And why don’t insurers simply withdraw their insurance cover?

The reason for this inactivity seems to be that neither the DVLA nor insurers have been on the case here as a result of inadequate information. So insurers simply don’t know if their Insured is telling the truth about endorsements/points or is simply being ‘economic with the truth’ at renewal time…

Moving records online

So the recent plan to move all driving records online seems to be a no-brainer as I see it and could even reduce the cost of car insurance for most people, say some ministers.

The systems challenge, which will be complete by mid-2015 we’re told, will end the need for the ‘paper counterpart’ document drivers have to keep with their licence. And insurers predict that honest motorists with minimum points could see their premiums fall by up to £15 a year.

Bring it on I say. And when the DVLA knows who the serial points’ offenders are who have been flouting the rules for years, they should name and shame ’em as well as ask the police to pop round and physically remove their driving licence for good order…

And motor insurers should check this database carefully too. Why should anyone with 45 points be insured at all knowing they ‘forgot’ to tell their insurer the truth.

Otherwise this makes the rest of us look like motoring muppets for bothering to play by the rules, tell the truth and pay the same car insurance premium as a serial under-declarer of points.


Letting down other women drivers

wallofshameIt’s about time we named and shamed the motoring offenders the DVLA is failing to keep on top of. We’d be happy to ‘out’ them at our website, for example, because otherwise there seems no incentive for regular offenders to stop driving when they’re banned (or uninsured…).

In this instance I’m talking about the points that licence holders are accumulating and the fact that a woman from Isleworth in West London was able to continue driving with a total of 42 penalty points last year, according to the latest figures from the DVLA.

Granted these were all for failing to disclose the identity of the driver (between 26 May and 21 December 2012) one wonders how the police let her go without knowing who she was or where she lived…

The second-highest points total, 36, went to a man from Warrington, Cheshire, who was caught driving without insurance six times in less than two weeks, between 20 February and 2 March 2012.

Other notable offenders include:

+ A man from Southend-on-Sea with 30 points, who was caught speeding ten times between 14 March 2011 and 3 August 2012.

+ A man from Blackburn with 29 points, who was caught speeding eight times in two months, between 29 September 2011 and 29 November 2011.

+ A man from Pevensey, East Sussex, with 24 points who was caught speeding six times in just two weeks, between 30 September and 13 October 2012.

Failing to give the identity of the owner, speeding, and driving uninsured are the most common reasons for points.

To be fair on our gender, of the top twenty licence-points holders, 90% are men.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “It’s really disappointing to see that this issue has not yet been resolved. DVLA and the Courts Service are upgrading their computer systems to ensure that offence information is shared more efficiently, but this is not due to be in place until October. When drivers with ten speeding offences are getting away with holding a licence, these improvements cannot come quickly enough. The IAM has no sympathy for owners who refuse to reveal the identity of the driver, and we would welcome an urgent consultation on new ways to deal with this problem. Drivers must expect that 12 points means a ban or the whole system falls into disrepute.”

FOXY has no sympathy for women who let the rest of their gender down in this way. We get enough criticism as it is. The law should be the law in that 12 points means a driving ban.


Male drivers more likely point scorers

speeding_gunAccording to a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA, made by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), over 8000 UK motorists are still driving with 12 or more penalty points on their driving licence. The top point scorers are all men.

Just to remind us, the official upper limit for license points is 12, or six for those who have held a licence for three years or less.

The recent DVLA report confirms that many male drivers with 25-36 points are still allowed to drive on our roads. A male driver from Warrington, for example, has the highest number of points on record at 36.

Currently, there are 20.4m male and 16.8m female licence holders in the UK to give some context to the fact that it’s largely men who fall foul of the law in this regard:

+ Of the top 34 licence point holders, 32 are men.
+ Of the top 99 licence point holders, 85 are women.
+ 2256 men are still driving with more than 12 points on their licence.
+ 351 women are still driving with more than 12 points on their licence.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Law abiding drivers will be shocked that so many drivers are on the road who have more than 12 points. The ‘totting up’ principle is supposed to give a simple four strikes and you are out message. Anything more than this should be a disqualification, unless there are the most exceptional circumstances.

“There must be tighter practice in courts and at the DVLA to take these motorists off the road or ensure they take a driver retraining course to help them break their points habit.”

Steph Savill, managing director of FOXY Lady Drivers Club said: “For most motorists, collecting points is expensive, embarrassing and potentially highly stressful. But they make us more vigilant drivers. The relative few who collect 12 points in a fairly short period of time must be either ignorant or contemptuous of the rules of the road. They are getting away with it because the courts seem unwilling to play the disqualification cards they hold. There may even be a case for making serial point scorers re-sit the theory and practical driving test before their licence is reinstated.”

And the car insurance situation may well be a further cause for concern. Knowing how quick insurers are to refuse claim cover where the insured hasn’t kept their side of their insurance contract, imagine being involved in an accident with one of these high scorers whose insurer then refuses cover because they weren’t informed of these points…