More than 300,000 pensioners over the age of 65 have points on their licences, according to new research. Figures obtained by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart through a Freedom of Information request showed 25 times more over-65s currently have points than drivers in their teens.
Penalty points can be temporarily applied to drivers’ licences for motoring offences including speeding and using a handheld mobile phone while driving. Once a driver accumulates 12 points at any one time, they are normally – although not always – banned from driving.
IAM RoadSmart’s figures show around 304,000 over-65s currently have such penalty points on their licences, compared with just 12,000 teenage drivers. On the face of it, the data would suggest older drivers commit more motoring offences, but the figures do not take into account the number of licence holders in these age ranges or the number of points held.
Younger, less experienced drivers still have to pay the most for car insurance, with premiums calculated using risk factors including age. Statistically, young drivers are more likely to be killed in car crashes, with 2018 figures showing drivers aged 17-29 were the most likely age group to die in accidents.
However, the majority of UK points holders are in their 30s and 40s, which together account for more than 1.15 million drivers with points. The single age with the greatest number of points-holders is 49.
IAM RoadSmart’s research also revealed the oldest person driving with penalty points is 102, while more than 3,000 drivers in their 90s have points on their licences. And the figures show up to 8,800 drivers are still driving despite having more than 12 points, suggesting the rules surrounding driving bans are not always enforced.
“The findings from our Freedom of Information request are surprising,” said IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig. “Speeding and other motoring misdemeanours are often associated with younger drivers but the findings clearly show there is a large number of older drivers also flouting the rules.
“Regardless of age, the message we need to get through is that road safety is paramount and we urge drivers of all ages to stick to the speed limits and ensure their vehicles are in a roadworthy condition.
“We also urge the government to urgently revisit the issue of drivers with more than 12 points who still have not had their licences revoked. IAM RoadSmart has been raising this issue for almost a decade now and the problem still persists. It’s not by chance that certain drivers amass 12 or more points and they need to be removed from the public roads. By letting them keep their licence it undermines the simple “four strikes and you’re out” message and this urgently needs to be addressed.”