Wednesday, May 4, 2011

39 not out

I have to renew my driving license next month, the picture is 10 years out of date, though everything else remains the same. I'm one of those oddities with a clean current driving license having avoided (off times by luck) various speed traps, entrapment and sometimes weird stop and enquire attempts by the various local constabularies I travel through. I was stopped last year as they thought I was using my mobile phone whilst driving, I wasn't, I was just leaning on my arm bored and stuck in traffic, my phone where it normally is, in my pocket irradiating my gonads. No, I'm not making myself out to be a super driver either, I've just been lucky. Still I knew (or thought I knew) that if I got up to 12 points on my license, I would face a ban save only in the most unusual of circumstances and I would certainly have thought if I offended again I would certainly face a ban and of course I would have been wrong.

A Swindon motorist has 39 penalty points on his or her licence - the most in Great Britain - but not been banned.

A Freedom of Information request to the DVLA showed 638 drivers in Bristol, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire have 12 or more points.

Twelve points usually means a temporary ban for a driver unless they can prove it would cause exceptional hardship.

A court decides if a driver is banned and the Magistrates' Association agreed the Swindon case needs investigating.

The DVLA's response to the Freedom of Information (FOI), from BBC West, did not say which offences the penalty points related to and gave no further information about the driver from Swindon.

It explained that although it compiles the figures on court cases involving driving offences it has no influence on verdicts.
39 points, something we mere mortals would not believe possible, believing despite growing evidence that our justice system is far from fair and professional. But seriously, 39 POINTS! Didn't someone in the system notice the steady climb and decide to nip it in the bud? The person involved is still driving too, I wonder if they'll make it to 42+ points before being stopped from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Ok, the reasons may be trivial, I can accept that, a few miles over the limit in some cases perhaps, but sooner or later you'd think your luck would run out, exceptional hardship or not.
Yes, I know in a libertarian society speed limits would be advisory, safe driving under the conditions mandatory and the sooner the government stops picking on the motorists the better. I can agree with all that, I just can't agree with anyone abusing the system as is, be it the driver or the judge. I know I wouldn't get away with it, I doubt any of us would get away with it, why should they.

5 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Wasn't a similar case reported a few months ago and the culprit identified as an illiterate "traveller"?

Quiet_Man said...

Sounds about right.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Prepare for the ouch, I just did mine it's £20 now. Plus cost of photos & postage. However as I found out if you had a new passport in the last few odd years you can do it online and they use the passport picture.

Re the 39 points, I think I read that Emergency service drivers (mainly ambulance ) get automatically pointed at speed cams on calls and the Police, DVLA take thier own sweet time, getting them removed.

Plus there's those senior Police officers with one roled trouser leg, rushing to 'important' meetings to consider as it does not apply to them.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the driver *IS* a judge eh?

microdave said...

I've still got my old green paper licence (now 34 years old!). It does have one conviction for speeding back in the 70's when the Arabs turned the screw on oil supplies, and a temporary 50mph limit was brought in.

Sods law dictated that I was doing an errand for father on his motorbike when I got pulled for doing 70mph on a clear "A" road on a bright, sunny morning...

It says that it's valid until 2026 - I wonder if I'll be able to avoid a plastic one until then?