Nearly 300 drivers with 12 points or more on their record are still behind the wheel on Scotland’s roads, official figures have revealed.
One driver is still allowed to drive despite having racked up 20 points.
There are now calls for the authorities to look into whether persistent offenders are being properly dealt with.
The information was obtained by Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Mike Rumbles through a Freedom of Information request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
It found that 229,064 drivers in Scotland currently have points on their licence – and 276 of these still on the road have 12 or more points on their licence. The highest number of points held by a driver still on the road is 20.
“Almost 300 drivers with 12 points or more on their record are still on Scotland’s roads,” Mr Rumbles said.
“For the safety of everyone driving home for Christmas it’s important that repeat offenders and wild drivers are kept off the roads.
“It’s possible that there are mitigating factors in some cases which justify these drivers hanging on to their right to drive. But let’s be honest, if you have racked up a dozen points you’re probably a bad driver.
“The UK and Scottish Governments should examine whether the right systems are in place to put the brakes on problem drivers.” Drivers are usually disqualified if they accumulate 12 points within a three-year period. A speeding offence usually means three points on a licence. Disqualification is usually for six months, but can rise to a year or even two depending on how serious the offence is.
Drivers can escape a ban –even with 12 points – if they are able to show it will result on “exceptional hardship.” This usually means the loss of the offender’s job, particularly if they have children and a family to support.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 is reserved but provides for someone convicted of an offence with 12 or more penalty points to be disqualified unless the court feels there are mitigating circumstances that justify not disqualifying the convicted person.”
Leading motoring group IAM Roadsmart last month called for drivers caught speeding to be allowed to attend awareness courses rather than face fines or points on their licence. Such programmes are in place throughout the UK but are not available in Scotland.