Drivers with 12 points escaping ban
* More than 40% of drivers with 12 points avoid ban * Offenders claim 'exceptional hardship' * Charity calls for zero tolerance...
More than of 40% drivers with 12 points on their licence are escaping a ban.
Some have collected more than 25 points for offences such as speeding, using their mobile phone while at the wheel and driving without insurance.
Around 10,000 drivers remain on the road despite collecting 12 points which usually signals an automatic ban because they claim that disqualification would cause 'exceptional hardship'.
The worst example was a driver in Bradford who has received eight points on four separate occasions for having no insurance.
Road safety charity Brake, which is behind the figures being released, is calling for a zero-tolerance approach to drivers that collect 12 penalty points.
'Clearly when the points system was designed, it wasn't intended that nearly half of drivers with 12 points would evade disqualification,' said Julie Townsend, Brake's campaigns director.
'It is outrageous that these individuals, who rack up offence after offence, are allowed to continue driving, causing enormous risk to the public.'
Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, has asked justice secretary Ken Clarke to investigate the matter, although he has yet to do so despite promising to on September 13.
'Dangerous driving is an enormous problem both locally and throughout the country,' said Hilling. 'It appears to be persistent offenders that are the main culprits. I am pleased that the justice secretary has promised to investigate and I look forward to hearing the results of his findings.'