Some drivers seem to amass points on their licences with carefree abandon.
We currently have a totting up process with an automatic sanction of a driving ban for those people who accumulate 12 points.
Surely this system has been designed with a reason in mind – to identify and snare those motorists who consistently break the law.
This number of points can be reached through consistent low level offending such as regularly breaking speed limits by a few miles an hour and thus being snapped by a “road safety” camera.
Points can be handed out as well for more serious offences, including dangerous driving, and even causing death or serious injury. Either way, reaching the 12 point barrier within a three-year period suggests a pattern of careless, if not irresponsible, driving.
We are told often by road safety campaigners that “speed kills”.
If, even at the lowest level, 12 points can be reached through four different occasions of being caught breaking the speed limit, then the driver must surely be banned.
Figures revealed in today’s Post show that in the Midland area 295 drivers have been able to plead exceptional circumstances to magistrates to avoid an outright ban, despite passing the threshold.
If this is contrasted with the number of drivers who are barred from the roads – 812 – then it is clear that roughly one in five people facing an automatic ban have been able to wriggle out of it.
This must be a source of tremendous frustration to police traffic officers.
How often must they pull the same drivers over again and again, only for them to be allowed back out on the streets again in their cars?
It is the emergency services who know the true cost of arrogant motorists who believe the rules of the road do not apply to them.
Being first to the scene of a serious accident must be incredibly harrowing.
Those police officers tasked with going round and breaking the news of the death of a loved one to family members are true heroes and deserve our admiration – but in how many cases is the crash down to one driver going too quickly?
In how many cases does the person who has caused the accident have 12 points or more on their licence?
The court is told to take into account if a ban on a motorist would result in a disproportionate effect on his or her life.
But what about the effect on the lives of all those other law-abiding drivers on the roads?
Let us not forget that some people, allowed to use the same streets as our families and loved ones, have eye-watering numbers on their licences.
Surely if the magistrate is called to rule on someone with 17, 18, 19 and even 20 points they should consider how often can one person be given a second chance.
Make no mistake – anyone who has broken the law that often in a short period of time is not only a bad driver, but they are also showing a flagrant disregard for the safety of others on the roads.
Magistrates who make the decision to allow people to carry on with their normal lives in spite of a string of offences are themselves showing a flagrant disregard for the safety of others on the roads.
One thing is for sure – a driver banned from our streets cannot cause any more mayhem for that time.