Research has found 387 drivers have exceeded the threshold for a driving disqualification, with two motorists – one in Livingston and one in Wishaw – accumulating 26 points for road traffic offences, from driving without insurance to speeding and using a mobile phone while at the wheel.
Road safety campaigners have called for intervention from the UK Government on the matter after it emerged that more than 10,000 drivers nationwide are driving despite their poor safety records. However, more than 13,400 have received a ban.
Julie Townsend, campaigns director for Brake, said: “We are asking the Government to act quickly to address this appalling situation.
“Clearly when the points system was designed, it wasn’t intended that nearly half of drivers with 12 points would evade disqualification. It is outrageous that these individuals who rack up offence after offence are allowed to continue driving, causing enormous risk to the public.
“Drivers who repeatedly flout traffic laws have shown complete disregard for the lives of other road users. They also have ample opportunity to desist breaking the law before reaching 12 points and facing disqualification.
“It’s time for 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.”
The Ministry of Justice is to examine the research released yesterday by Brake, which wants the justice system to be less lenient on road offenders.
In Scotland, sheriffs dealing with road traffic cases have discretionary powers to prevent disqualification if a strong enough case against a ban is put before the court.
In January, the millionaire owner of the House of Bruar, the upmarket food and clothing emporium, escaped a driving ban after claiming that staff could be made redundant from the business if he was disqualified.
Mark Birkbeck, 62, was caught driving at 90mph on the M90 motorway between Inverkeithing and Perth in his Range Rover but told Perth Justice of the Peace Court that no-one else in the company was capable of buying the goods on display at the shopping centre.
He also claimed it would be difficult to rely on chauffeurs, given the remote location of his home. The court heard that Mr Birkbeck travels 50,000 miles a year searching for goods for the store.
Justice of the Peace Eve Forrest agreed “there’s signs of reflected hardship to employees of the business” and moved not to ban Mr Birkbeck, who now has 14 points on his licence.
It emerged this week that House of Bruar has been put up for sale in a move that could net founders Mr Birkbeck and wife Linda £40 million.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government has been calling for some time for more powers to be transferred to Scotland to allow us to take action to make our roads safer through measures such as toughening up drink driving laws.”
A spokeswoman for Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service cases, which deals with cases in England and Wales, said that a review of cases where drivers had not been disqualified despite reaching 12 points had been carried out.
“In a small minority of the cases reviewed, the sentencing court was not aware of the previous convictions of the defendant, as case details provided by the Police did not match the DVLA record. Consequently a number of process improvements have already been put in place to ensure that, for cases where drivers over 12 points are not disqualified, both HMCTS and DVLA are aware and can investigate these cases, if necessary.”