Drivers aged 13 and 101 among thousands banned under ‘totting up’ law

Dozens of underaged motorists and at least 20 in their 90s banned for having 12 or more points for driving offences

At least two 13-year-olds and one driver aged 101 have been banned from the roads after being handed 12 or more penalty points.

New figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reveal that the trio were among nearly 150,000 people banned from driving under “totting up” rules in the last four years.

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Despite being too young to even hold a licence, the two 13-year-olds - boys from South East England and the Midlands - had accrued enough points to be automatically disqualified.

They weren’t the only underaged drivers caught out under the TT99 offence either, with at least six 15 year olds and 14 aged 16 who qualified for a suspension for reaching the tipping point.

Underage drivers can still have points recorded against any future licenceUnderage drivers can still have points recorded against any future licence
Underage drivers can still have points recorded against any future licence | Shutterstock

Drivers who accumulate 12 or more active points on their licence are automatically disqualified in all but “exceptional” circumstances. For those who aren’t old enough to legally drive the courts can still impose a driving suspension and penalty points will be listed on any licence issued subsequently.

At the opposite end of the age spectrum, the 101-year-old woman from South West England was the oldest driver recorded to be banned under the rules after accruing her 12th point in 2018.

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The DVLA figures, obtained by motoring association MotorEasy, show that between 2018 and the end of 2021 more than 20 drivers in their 90s were also disqualified for having 12 or more points.

Duncan McClure Fisher, 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.

“It’s also surprising to see the ages of some of those at the other end of the scale who have totted up 12 or more points.

“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.”

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The figures show that the total number of drivers guilty of a TT99 offence is rising. It increased from 34,485 in 2018 to 38,187 in 2021 – although it did dip to 36,483 in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.

While courts normally disqualify drivers who accrue 12 or more points a loophole does allow for offenders to keep their licence if they can prove a ban would cause them “exceptional hardship”.

Figures obtained by the PA news agency revealed that more than 8,600 motorists are currently still allowed to drive despite repeatedly breaking the law and accumulated more than 12 points, leading to calls for the law to be changed.

Marc Jones, chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said that the hardship exemption should be scrapped.

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He said: “The point system allows for people making mistakes … so you’ve had your warnings, you’ve had your flexibility to account for any mistakes. At that point it’s wilful, and you should pay the consequences, which should be to have your privilege of driving – not the right but the privilege of driving – revoked.”

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