The shocking stats have been revealed by new DVLA data that lifts the lid on how many motorists have come a cropper under the ‘totting-up’ rules. The youngsters, males aged 13 at the time and from South East England and the West Midlands, were suspended from the roads last year. The elderly woman reached the 12-point mark in 2018, more than a year after getting her telegram from the Queen. The way the DVLA releases data means that where the number of drivers is fewer than five it won’t specify a precise figure because “this could lead to the identification of an individual”. Therefore the jaw-dropping numbers could be higher.
The stats, secured via a Freedom of Information request, cover the past four years for England, Scotland and Wales. No females under the legal driving age earned themselves a suspension. The youngest banned under the totting-up rules was 18. But for the males there were at least six 15 year olds and 14 ‘drivers’ aged 16 who qualified for a suspension.
Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and CEO of MotorEasy, said: “It’s frowned upon for adults to collect so many points for offences such as speeding, so for youngsters four years below the legal driving age to have amassed them is mind-boggling.”
The figures revealed the oldest drivers banned under the regulations, officially known as a TT99 offence. In 2018 a 101-year-old female in South West England fell foul of the law for collecting 12 or more points, while a driver aged 94 from East England was also banned. Women drivers were worse at the upper end of the age scale, with at least three 92 year olds and two aged 90 receiving TT99 offences over the four-years. While men didn’t top the age charts, there were still plenty of older men who hit the 12-point mark since the start of 2018.
A minimum of 16 in their 90s crossed the line with the law – the oldest, a 98 year old, joined by those aged 96, 95, 94 92 and 90. Mr McClure Fisher added: “It’s surprising to see the ages of some of those at the other end of the scale who have totted up 12 points or more. While there is no legal requirement to retake your test later in life, those aged 70 and above have to reapply for their licence every three years. That means they must declare they are fit and healthy to get behind the wheel and that their eyesight meets the minimum standard. So to still be driving at 101 is remarkable, and normally something to celebrate. However, these OAP motorists have obviously not maintained the standards expected on the roads.”
The overall stats from the DVLA showed that the total number of drivers guilty of a TT99 offence rose from 34,485 in 2018 to 38,187 in 2021 – although it did dip in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. Reaching 12 penalty points within three years usually leads to an automatic driving ban under the totting up rules.Even though they aren’t old enough to apply for a provisional licence, courts can hand children and teenagers a formal driving ban.These often start from the date of the conviction, so will expire by the time the offender reaches 17. However, endorsements will still be listed on any licence issued and a record set up on the DVLA’s database. Magistrates also have the power not to enforce this if they consider that a suspension would inflict ‘exceptional hardship’.
Between 2017 and 2021, around 35,000 drivers were allowed by judges to keep their licence due to this plea, according to research by Cycling UK. The figure has led to calls from road safety campaigners for the government to close the loophole.
Drivers with TT99 offences (England, Scotland & Wales)