200 rogue drivers across Lothian hit with lifetime bans

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MORE than 200 rogue motorists are banned from driving for the rest of their lives in the Lothians, including one serial offender who has been hit with 15 separate life-time bans, it emerged today.

New figures revealed that 204 people are barred from ever getting behind the wheel again for a catalogue of road crimes, including causing three deaths.

The shamed drivers have clocked up a total of 481 life-long bans between them, with 22 people amassing five or more from the courts.

Motoring groups today said police must continue to target serial offenders and ensure front-line policing levels were maintained on the roads.

Meanwhile, the figures, released by the DVLA, showed that 2286 people in the Lothians were banned from driving as of last month. Some 1242 were punished for drink driving, while 13 were banned for causing death by dangerous driving and one for culpable homicide while driving a vehicle.

Among those on life bans is James Frail, 31, who was caught driving illegally at least a dozen times before being jailed for 12 years in May 2008 for a series of armed robberies at Edinburgh shops, where he fled in stolen cars.

On one occasion in 2007, Frail was caught driving just two days after serving a prison sentence for flouting a lifetime ban. Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ Motoring Trust, said: “For individuals who are banned, stopping them does come down to fear of being caught.

“That’s why it’s important to keep up levels of front-line policing on the roads so these people know they can be caught.”

As well as the motorist given 15 life bans, three drivers have also racked up their 14th, 12th and 11th bans respectively. Some 132 of the 481 life-time bans given to Lothian motorists involved drink driving, while 46 involved driving without insurance and 18 for dangerous driving. Superintendent Alan Duncan, head of Lothian and Borders Police’s road policing unit, said: “If a motorist is found to be driving while disqualified, they may face a prison sentence and officers can have their vehicle removed from the roadway under the vehicle recovery scheme.”

Among the 2286 people currently banned from driving in the Lothians, 64 were barred for car theft, 243 for dangerous driving and 943 for driving while already disqualified.

amcewen@edinburghnews.com