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Loophole allows drivers to escape ban

Anomaly over Northern Ireland points


Cars in a traffic jam

An anomaly in driving licence regulations means some UK motorists can accumulate as many as 18 penalty points without being banned from the road, MPs were told today.

Drivers who get 12 points on their licence can be banned.

But penalty points accumulated in Northern Ireland are not recorded anywhere in England, Wales and Scotland, the House of Commons Transport Committee was told.

This means that drivers could have nine points from offences committed in Northern Ireland as well as nine points incurred, say, in England – giving them a total of 18 – and still not be banned.

‘Unacceptable situation’

Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman told the committee that it was an unacceptable situation and the Government was dealing with the matter.

However, he also said the situation would last for a while longer as primary legislation was required to change the existing regulations.

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