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Do Driving Licence Points Really Mean Anything?

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, August 25, 2017

The average driver fears a violation that could result in points being added to his or her driving licence. That's the way it should be. The point system is supposed to be a deterrent against the kinds of behaviours we deem unsafe. A driver who accumulates multiple points has demonstrated that he or she cannot be trusted. Yet there is a problem: thousands of drivers are still being allowed to drive even after accumulating more than 12 points.

According to an August report from the BBC, more than 10,000 drivers still have licences despite accumulating 12 or more penalty points. It leads many to wonder whether those points really mean anything or not. Apparently not, at least in some cases.

The BBC analysis of DVLA data revealed some interesting things:

  • Men between 25 and 34 are the greatest offenders
  • Men, in general, accumulate more penalty points than women
  • The record for the most penalty points is 51
  • Almost 100 drivers are still driving despite having 24 or more penalty points.

The BBC also discovered that drivers in the north of England tend to have more penalty points than their counterparts elsewhere. Whether that has anything to do with actual geography or not is both unknown and unimportant. What is important is the fact that drivers are typically banned after accumulating 12 or more points within a three-year period.

Facing a Six-Month Ban

When the law is enforced, a driver is subject to a six-month ban for accumulating 12 or more points. But is six-months long enough? Furthermore, do employers really want to take a risk on job candidates applying for a driving position just after coming from a ban?

As you can see, penalty points and driving bans are important issues. That is why we offer electronic licence checks to employers with driving staff members. It is important for employers to know if any of their drivers have accumulated a significant number of penalty points. It is important that they know whether an employee has ever been banned or not.

Proponents of stiffer penalties for repeat violations are appalled at the numbers revealed by the BBC study. They should be. To know that thousands of drivers are still on the road after accumulating so many points leads us to wonder why we have the point system in the first place.

Sources:

BBC – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-40862975

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