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Are you past 12 points of no return?

Exceptional hardship

The latest data from the DVLA reveals that over 9,000 people* in Great Britain are driving on the road with 12 points or more on their licence. Immediately you’d assume that these drivers will lose their legal right to be on the road, but with an exceptional hardship argument, there may be a good reason for them to stay behind the wheel. 

If losing your driving licence could have a significant effect on your livelihood, you could be fortunate enough to qualify for exceptional hardship.

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What is exceptional hardship?

Exceptional hardship is classified as the consequences your livelihood would suffer if you were to lose your licence.

Disqualification from driving under the penalty points scheme usually carries a minimum period of 6 months disqualification, so if you can prove that this restriction would cause you ‘exceptional hardship’, you could reduce your disqualification period.  The charges and your sentence (most likely a fine), however, still remain the same.

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How likely am I to be able to keep my licence?

By reviewing exceptional hardship cases, our team of motoring solicitors created a formula to calculate a list of criteria and circumstances that can influence an exceptional hardship argument. The scenarios listed, if applicable, mean that your case is more likely, in a solicitor’s view, to be successful. However, the Court will judge each case on its individual merits.

Would you challenge the points on your licence? Put the pedal to the metal and find out what are your chances of qualifying for exceptional hardship!

Do you care for any dependents?

Is your vehicle relied upon by others?

Is your income the main source for your household?

What do you use your car primarily for?

Do you live near public transport links?

How far do you need to travel to visit or pick up your dependents?

Are you in a position of leadership and responsibility at work?

Does your role require you to work from its registered location?

The psychology behind speeding

“While speeding is a binary number above the legal limit, from a psychological perspective, it is much more complicated. Just take the word speeding, and most drivers equate this to someone who is travelling way in excess of the speed limit at a speed they feel is dangerous.

“This perception of speeding leads them to speed to a lesser extent, but not attached to being someone who speeds. In modern culture, speed is a virtue. We revel when a task is done with less time duration, and this can transition onto the road, propelling our mind and our vehicle over the prescribed limit.

“Other things to consider are that some drivers simply drive fast everywhere, and their driving style has become a habit. This almost leads to a situation where they don’t look at what speed they are travelling at.

“Those who are continually running late excuse the speed they drive to cover up their lack of preparation, and this trumps all over factors even though we make up very little time by speeding.” Lee Chambers, MSc MBPsS, Environmental Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant.

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A legal standpoint

“It is important to remember that being allowed to continue driving with 12 or more points on your licence is not the norm. The Court’s starting point will be to disqualify and it will often have little sympathy for the driver.

“After all, disqualification is a natural consequence of the driver’s repeated breach of motoring regulations. If somebody has been caught multiple times for traffic offences, even if they are minor in nature, this would suggest a cavalier disregard for the rules which are supposed to keep the rest of us safe.

“Even when a Court decides not to disqualify, the driver will then be driving around with the points on their licence, meaning they will be on their last chance. This means that, if successful, an exceptional hardship truly is a ‘last chance’ to avoid disqualification.”

Derek MacDonald, Partner. Poole Alcock Solicitors.

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How to stop speeding

“Some drivers see the speed limit as a target to stick to or surpass. It is just a limit, and shouldn’t be something you aim for. 

“To avoid speeding entirely, try to consistently stay at least a few miles per hour below the speed limit, and activate a maximum speed limit that a lot of new cars have. Pay attention to any speed limit signs and slow down so that you’re at or below this speed before you reach this area.” Stephen Crawford, a Driving Instructor at Local Driving School, has provided more of his advice below.

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How to follow the rules of the road

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Base your speed on road conditions and any potential hazards.

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Try to stay calm when driving, avoid rushing if you’re late to work or meeting your friends.

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Ignore the ‘10% plus two’ theory – it’s simply not true! A speed camera will trigger if you travel at 79 mph on the motorway, for example.

Methodology

By reviewing exceptional hardship cases, our team of motoring solicitors created a formula to calculate a list of criteria and circumstances that can influence a legal motoring case. The scenario of each outcome therefore provides a percentage indication on whether the case could qualify for exceptional hardship.

Sources
https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/92095/almost-9500-drivers-uks-roads-have-12-penalty-points

*excludes drivers who have accrued points from drink or drug driving

**The statistical likelihood of success you have received above should not be taken as a guarantee of success and is intended for illustrative purposes only to demonstrate how the Court may place weight on these factors.

**

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