Over 100 drivers in Leeds are still on the roads despite having more than 12 points on their licence, the YEP can reveal.
Information provided by the DVLA shows that a total of 122 motorists with Leeds postcodes have more than 12 points on their driving licence but are not serving a ban from the courts.
One driver has 21 points on their licence but is not disqualified, while three have 19 points, according to the results of a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by the YEP.
The DVLA says drivers can avoid a ban if they claim they will suffer “exceptional hardship” as a result, a legal loophole which road safety charity Brake is calling to be closed.
A spokesman for the Huddersfield charity said: “There have been hundreds of cases of people successfully claiming exceptional hardship in circumstances which Brake does not believe are exceptional.
“These include a number of celebrities escaping driving bans by claiming they could not be expected to use public transport, or they couldn’t afford a full-time private driver.
“Any driver that exceeds 12 points has shown they repeatedly break the law and are a hazard to other road users.
“Brake believes it is crucial that bans are issued when a driver receives 12 points.”
In Leeds, there is one driver on the roads with 18 penalty points on their licence, another with 17 and four with 16 points.
There are another four with 15 penalty points; 32 with 14 points; seven with 13 points and a total of 69 with 12 points.
Any motorist with 12 points or more on their licence, for offences such as speeding, can be disqualified for up to two years.
However, the “exceptional hardship” claim is used by defendents in a bid to avoid a ban.
Famous names to use the loophole include ex-footballer John Barnes, who was caught driving without insurance in 2008, when he already had nine points on his licence.
Barnes, then manager of the Jamaican national team, said he couldn’t serve a ban because he couldn’t rely on public transport to get to matches.
In June, former Norwich City player Zak Whitbread also escaped a ban despite clocking up 17 penalty points after claiming he needed his car as he was looking for a new club.
And a lawyer for Stoke City manager Tony Pulis said the club could get relegated if he was given a driving ban after being handed six points for speeding, taking his total number of points to 15.
The spokesman for Brake added: “One football manager avoided a ban by claiming his team would be relegated if he couldn’t drive to training, leading to exceptional hardship for his fans. We do not think that this is acceptable.
“Drivers that have amassed over 12 points have had ample opportunity to desist from law breaking and it is vital there is a real deterrent in place.”