Motorists with as many as 20 points on their licence are still driving around the West Midlands after magistrates allowed them to stay on the road.
Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to the Birmingham Post under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that two drivers in the West Midlands have amassed 20 points.
There are nearly 300 motorists who live in the region with 12 points or more still being allowed behind the wheel – in spite of guidance to courts that only under “exceptional” circumstances should they be allowed to continue.
Also on the roads are eight drivers with 19 points, three with 18, five with 17 and 34 with 16.
Safety groups say that allowing motorists who “flout the law” and continue in spite of amassing horrific records could result in tragedy.
Road safety charity Brake said failing to ban “selfish and potentially deadly” drivers was “outrageous”.
The worst postcodes in the West Midlands for sheer numbers of people with points on their licences are B74, which includes wealthy Little Aston with 3,124 drivers, B77 Wilnecote in Tamworth with 3,850 and B90 in Shirley, Solihull with 3,624.
The two drivers with 20 points live in Lea Hall, Birmingham, and Redditch. The survey includes Birmingham and surrounding areas such as Sandwell, Tamworth and Henley-in-Arden.
Brake spokesman, Richard Coteau said: “It is outrageous 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 have had 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 DVLA revealed that in the B postcode region on November 19 there were 812 drivers disqualified after totting up 12 or more penalty points.
Under the totting up procedure, should a driver receive 12 points over a three-year period, court guidelines say an automatic disqualification of six months should be imposed.
Only if the court accepts a submission of “exceptional hardship” either financially or personally, can such a ban be overturned.
But in the B postcode region there is a total of 295 motorists still able to use their vehicles after accumulating 12 points or more.
Nationally, official figures show there are 10,072 motorists who should have been banned but managed to persuade the courts they should be able to keep their licence.
With three points generally handed out for speeding offences, in the B postcode area there are 2,749 motorists on the brink of facing a battle to avoid disqualification on nine points, with 219 on 10, and 131 on 11.
Andy Gilbert, chair of West Midlands Police Federation, said: “Sentences for all offences should be effective in order to protect the public and as a deterrent effect to prevent further offences.”
A spokesman for the DVLA said: “Whilst DVLA maintains a record of all GB fixed penalties and court-ordered endorsements, the agency has no responsibility or influence on court-imposed sentences.
“In England and Wales, the Magistrates’ Courts sentencing guidelines produced by the Sentencing Council provide a framework setting out how to establish the seriousness of each case and the most appropriate way of dealing with it.
“This helps the Magistrates Courts ensure that any penalty reflects the seriousness of the offence and the personal circumstances of the offender.
“In a small percentage of cases where the driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points, the agency understands that a court can exercise its discretion and not disqualify the driver.
"In the majority of these cases, Magistrates may have decided to allow drivers to retain their entitlement to drive where it is considered that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.”
The spokesman explained that the numbers were “likely” to include cases where drivers have received court sentences including disqualification, supervision orders, community punishment orders or imprisonment.
Andy Goldby, director of underwriting and pricing at Direct Line, said: “It seems ‘exceptional hardship’ isn’t that exceptional after all.
"Someone who has accumulated more than 12 points on their licence has shown a complete disrespect for the law.
"It sends out an entirely wrong message that these individuals are still allowed to drive. Drivers with points on their licence are statistically more likely to have a collision and the likelihood increases with the more points they have.
“The ‘hardship’ one of these drivers would feel with the removal of their licence is nothing compared to someone involved in a collision with one of them. The system is being abused and it needs to be stopped.”
Where sentences have been imposed other than through the totting up process, the penalty points follow standard periods of validity according to the offences concerned.
"Following the period of disqualification imposed, drivers can re-apply for their licence meaning that they can have a high number of valid penalty points and current entitlement to drive, even though the sentence of the court has been served."