“Road safety agenda for next Government set by Parliamentary report” says Cycling UK

Cycling UK wants the loophole allowing 8,500 drivers with 12 points or more to keep on driving closed
Cycling UK today (Tuesday, 02 May) welcomes the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group report ‘Cycling and the Justice System’ which identifies the loophole which every year allows over 8,500 drivers with 12 points or more on their licences to continue driving and calls for it to be closed.

The report contains 14 recommendations for action, predominantly for Government or the police, necessary to reduce danger on our roads for cyclists and other road users, and improve the response of the justice system. 

Chief among the reports’ recommendations is the urgent need to close a legal loophole which allows over 8,500 people to continue driving, despite having 12 or more points on their licences, the point at which an obligatory six month driving ban should kick in.  

Cycling UK agrees with the reports’ findings and reminder that “Driving is a privilege, not a right”, and has urged all political parties as they campaign to lead the next government to take road safety seriously, and incorporate the cross-party inquiry’s recommendations into their manifestos. 

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigns officer who gave evidence to the inquiry said: 

“Last year, national headlines lamented the tragic case of cyclist Lee Martin, whose death was in part a consequence of the justice system putting one person's right to drive above the safety of other road users. 

“Rightly this cross-party group of MPs and Peers has identified the problems that affect us all – whether we’re driving, cycling or walking – and made sensible recommendations to make our roads safer. 

“Cycling UK welcomes the ambition of the report's recommendations, and believes it should set the road safety agenda for the next Government. We hope politicians of all parties will be able to support them, and work together to prevent avoidable and dangerous incidents on our roads.” 

Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org  
  2. The APPCG’s  ‘Cycling and the Justice System’ is available for download at: https://allpartycycling.org/inquiries/justice/   
  3. Ministry of Justice figures show that the number of people disqualified from driving fell from 155,484 to 58,715 in 2015. At the same time, the number of people convicted of dangerous driving fell by 30%; careless driving by 36% and drink driving by 48%. From Ministry of Justice (2015) Criminal Justice Statistics, cited in RoadPeace (2016) Driving Bans in Court.  
  4. There are multiple reasons why drivers may be able to drive with 12 or more points on their licence, including: a) having successfully appealed for leniency in the courts, b) awaiting summons to court, c) through administrative error on the part of the police or courts. 
  5. Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 provides that drivers who accrue 12 or more penalty points on their licence within a three year period must be disqualified for a minimum period of 6 months (totting up disqualification). The court can however decide not to disqualify, or disqualify for a shorter period, in cases where disqualification would cause exceptional hardship. 
  6. Cyclist Lee Martin was killed in a collision caused by driver Christopher Gard who was texting as he drove in August 2015 on the A31 near Bentley. Gard was jailed for 9 years at Winchester Crown Court in September 2016 and disqualified from driving for 14 and a half years. http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-09-05/texting-driver-jaile…;
  7. For a detailed analysis of the APPCG’s report see Cycling UK website from 8am 02 May or contact Cycling UK press office: https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/duncandollimore/appcg-blog  

Press contact information

Cycling UK Press Office
Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844-736-8453