The Danger Of Totting Up
It’s increasingly easy to run the risk of totting up points on your driving licence. The amount of speed cameras, mobile speed detection vans and constant SPECS constant speed sections of road (many of which are not easy to identify) means that every driver runs the very real risk of accumulating 12 or more points.
While the criteria that allow you to qualify for a speed awareness course have been raised, so in many counties, you will be invited to attend a course in lieu of taking the points, but only if your speed falls in the lower level, driving at over 10% plus 2 mph of the speed limit, but below 10% plus 9 mph and you haven’t been convicted of any other speeding offences in the previous three years.
The equates to;
20 mph limit: 24mph – 31mph
30 mph limit: 35mph – 42mph
40 mph limit: 46mph – 53mph
50 mph limit: 57mph – 64mph
60 mph limit: 68mph – 75mph
70 mph limit: 79mph – 86mph
These are the generally accepted limits and levels for speeding across the UK, however different police forces can impose their own guidance limits, so it’s important to note that these are for guidance only and are not a guarantee of a
It is quite uncommon for a driver to have no points at all, and having some points is the new normal. With 6 points for no insurance & 6 points for using a mobile phone while driving a missed direct debit and one excess speed conviction can soon see you on 9 penalty points.
New drivers have an even bigger problem because for their first two years after passing their driving test, they only have 6 points to play with, meaning that they can’t afford to exceed any speed limits or commit any motoring offences at all.
How To Avoid Totting Up
A growing number of drivers have successfully avoided being banned even though they have collected 12 or more penalty points. If you are at risk of a ban (you face a 6 month totting ban) then you have several options to determine the best outcome.
An exceptional hardship argument can be used in certain circumstances once in a two year period. This means that if you face a tot up ban, if you can demonstrate that giving you a ban would cause exceptional hardship to others, the court has the power to impose the points, but to defer the ban, allowing you to continue to drive.
The key to arguing exceptional hardship is to prove that other people, your family etc would suffer because of your ban. If you visit an elderly relative, drive them to hospital, or need to drive to help others in need then it will be quite unusual for the court to ban you.
The court has quite a lot of leeway when it comes to imposing totting up penalties. If you can’t use an exceptional hardship defence, you have the option to negotiate a reduced ban. These limited bans can be difficult to negotiate, but the shortest lengh of ban we have seen was just 24 hours!! A big improvement on the 6 month standard tariff.
Additionally, by taking a ban your licence is returned to you without any points on it, so for many drivers, it can be a better outcome to accept a reduced ban of a few weeks (you can take a holiday and not even notice you can’t drive) and then return to the road, with no penalty points at all.