Driver with 42 penalty points is still on Wigan's roads

A reckless Wigan driver has notched up 42 penalty points but is astonishingly still on the road, shocking new figures have revealed.

Saturday, 13th August 2016, 8:00 am

The hapless motorist is one of 38 across the borough to be legally driving despite having accrued 12 or more points, the level that can trigger a ban.

The figures have been unveiled as part of research by an insurance firm and have prompted calls for the government to get tough on “selfish, irresponsible and potentially deadly drivers”.

Some 8,600 drivers have 12 or more but are still legally allowed on the roads, a Freedom of Information request by esure car insurance found.

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They mark a 25 per cent increase from last year, when 6,887 drivers had 12 or more points on their licence, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data shows.

More than half of the 2.8 million people who currently have points on their licence were caught speeding, the figures covering England, Scotland and Wales showed.

Other reasons for the points include careless driving, driving without insurance and failing to stop at an accident.

Jon Wilshire, chief underwriting officer at esure, said it was “astonishing” that drivers could have so many points and not be disqualified.

He said: “If drivers continue to flout the law then there need to be clear consequences. Driving safely not only guards you against getting points on your licence but also keeps drivers, passengers and other road users safe.”

Last year the Evening Post’s sister title the Wigan Observer revealed a borough taxi driver had been allowed to continue trading having racked up 12 penalty points.

The offending driver was handed a six week suspension by the town hall after magistrates opted not to disqualify due to the “exceptional hardship” losing his licence would have caused.

A spokeswoman for Brake said the points system was never intended to allow so many people to “evade disqualification”.

She added: “It is outrageous that these individuals, who rack up offence after offence and show complete disregard for the lives of other road users, are allowed to continue driving.

“It’s time for magistrates and the Government to get tough with these selfish, irresponsible and potentially deadly drivers, and put a stop to their illegal and dangerous driving before it results in a devastating crash.”

Sheena Jowett, deputy chairman of the Magistrates’ Association, which represents magistrates in England and Wales, said: “Magistrates deal with the vast majority of driving cases and, just like other offences, no two cases are ever the same.

“Our members deal with cases purely on the facts before them and use discretion as the law provides, this includes issues of exceptional hardship.

“It is for law-makers in parliament to decide whether the law surrounding driving bans and the points system needs to change.”