Law-breaking drivers allowed to remain on Sheffield's roads

The minimum penalty for speeding is a 100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence
The minimum penalty for speeding is a 100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence
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More than 100 drivers have been allowed to remain on Sheffield's roads despite racking up 12 or more points on their licence, The Star can reveal.

They include eight motorists who have accumulated 18 points yet still kept their licences, in what a road safety charity branded 'a mockery of the penalty points system'.

Across the city, 100 drivers with full licences and seven with provisional ones had accrued at least 12 points and not been banned, figures obtained from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) under the Freedom of Information Act show.

Of those, 75 had amassed exactly 12 points, but 21 had 15 or more.

Just under a third were aged 30 or below, and the oldest was 72.

In one postcode district alone - the S5 area - 14 drivers, including three with provisional licences, had reached the points threshold yet kept their licences, as of April 29 this year.

Jason Wakeford, from Brake, the road safety charity, said: "It's appalling that risky repeat offenders in Sheffield are being allowed to carry on driving with so many points on their licence.

"These drivers have shown disregard for the law and the safety of other road users - putting people in danger and making a mockery of the penalty points system.

"Brake will continue to call on the Government to ensure all drivers with more than 12 points receive an automatic ban, and to provide police with the resources necessary to enforce the full extent of the law."

Drivers accumulating 12 or more points within three years should automatically be banned for at least six months, under sentencing guidelines.

But courts can spare them from disqualification if it would cause 'exceptional hardship' - for example, costing them their job - or if there are other mitigating circumstances.

Penalty points can be awarded for a variety of motoring offences, from speeding to drink driving or failing to stop after an accident, with the most serious transgressions resulting in an instant ban.

Hugh Bladon, a founder member of motorists' campaign group the Alliance of British Drivers, said: "If you keep getting caught by speed cameras you have only yourself to blame, and if you then lose your licence that's your fault.

"Magistrates have some wriggle room to take individual circumstances into account but one wonders how those circumstances can allow drivers to keep their licences when they've racked up so many points."

However, he added that there was an 'obsession' with speed cameras in Britain and police should focus on motorists driving aggressively or without due care and attention rather than those going 'a few miles over the speed limit'.

The DVLA said it had no responsibility for or influence on the sentences imposed by courts but would check with them where the points threshold is met and no disqualification is imposed at the time of conviction to ensure that is the court's intention.

It pointed out that the statistics provided were likely to include cases where drivers had received court sentences including disqualification, supervision orders, community punishment orders or imprisonment and had successfully re-applied for their licence.

The number of motorists in Sheffield disqualified from driving as of April 29 was 1,150, at which time there were just under 430,000 licence-holders in the city who had not been banned.

Where in Sheffield have the most motorists racked up 12 or more points but been allowed to keep driving?

S1: 1

S2: 9

S3: 2

S4: 6

S5: 14

S6: 6

S7: 4

S8: 7

S9: 9

S10: 2

S11: 5

S12: 6

S13: 3

S14: 3

S17: 3

S20: 5

S21: 4

S25: 2

S26: 1

S35: 6

S36: 9

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