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Durham motorist kept licence despite racking up 26 penalty points
A NORTH-EAST motorist who clocked up 26 penalty points kept his licence and continued to drive, it has emerged.
The man, from Durham, was caught three times without insurance and also prosecuted for speeding and failing to properly control his vehicle between June 2011 and February this year.
Current laws mean drivers can be banned under the “totting up” procedure if they accumulate 12 points on their licence over a three-year period, although magistrates are allowed discretion not to enforce a ban if it would cause exceptional hardship.
Other notable offenders included a woman from West London who racked up 42 penalty points last year, while continuing to drive.
Earlier this year The Northern Echo revealed that there were 159 motorists still on North-East roads despite having 12 points or more on their licence - a figure branded as "outrageous" by road safety charity Brake.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists, which published details of the individual cases, said the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Courts Service were upgrading their computer systems to ensure that offence information was shared more efficiently in order to avoid similar occurences.
Its chief executive Simon Best said: “These improvements cannot come quickly enough.”
He added: “Drivers must expect that 12 points means a ban or the whole system falls into disrepute.”
Driving instructor Geoff Railton, a member of the Darlington Driving Instructors Federation, said: “It’s unbelievable that someone with that many points can still drive.
“It should never happen.”
A spokeswoman for Durham police said the force did not want to comment.
The DVLA said its role was to record the information provided by the courts.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the HM Courts and Tribunal Service, said the vast majority of drivers who got 12 penalty points or more were fined and disqualified from driving.
He said only a small number of cases were affected by the issue of data sharing and it was working with the DVLA to improve this.
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