10,000 dangerous drivers

My brother David told me about this and I didn’t believe him: thousands of dangerous drivers should have been banned from driving, but haven’t. According to road safety pressure group Brake:

Brake and Direct Line analysed data provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) [1] and found that 10,072 drivers whose risky driving totted up 12 points or more have kept their licence and are still driving

The reason? They’ve used the “unnecessary hardship” defence, in some cases again and again. For example:

There are five drivers in Great Britain with 30 points on their licence. They are from Stoke-on-Trent, Northampton, Nottingham, Blackburn and Derby. These drivers have received points for driving uninsured, speeding, failing to give the identity of the driver, red light running and mobile phone offences. One of these drivers was caught speeding seven times, as well as driving uninsured and running a red light.

I’m all in favour of taking people’s circumstances into account when deciding how severely they should be punished, but surely the unnecessary hardship defence should be a one-time option followed by an instant ban and/or a custodial sentence if the person offends again? The laws aren’t there for a laugh; they’re there to ensure the safety of the rest of us.