What does “totting up” actually mean?
If a driver accumulates 12 or more penalty points on their driving licence within a 3-year period it is often referred to as ‘totting up’. If your licence has exceeded 12 points it will result in the court disqualifying that person from driving for a minimum period of 6 months.
How will it affect you?
A disqualification from driving will affect most people as after all, we have learnt to drive to make our lives easier! We drive to work, to the shops, to take the children to school, all everyday tasks that lots of people do as part of their daily lives. If you were to ask yourself the question of what would happen if you were no longer able to drive, what would your answer be?
The answer in short would be that your life would be made so much more difficult to manage.
Consider how it would affect your commute to work if driving wasn’t an option. How would you get to work? Maybe you’d catch a train and then a bus or a taxi to the office? Both public transport and/or taxis can be costly and would take a much bigger proportion of time off your day as opposed to if you were to have driven. What about if you have children who you drive to school? Is it close enough for you to walk?
These are just a couple of examples of obstacles you could face if you were to be disqualified from driving.
How can “totting up” be avoided?
In an ideal world the answer to this would be do not commit any motoring offences and you will not then have your driving licence endorsed with any penalty points.
In reality however, rarely do people intentionally commit a motoring offence, they simply happen for a variety of reasons including rushing, not concentrating properly or driving in an area you’re unfamiliar with.
One might get 3 points for marginally exceeding the speed limit in one year then another the year after which equates to 6 points. In the third year you may have missed a monthly payment to your insurance company due to insufficient funds being in your account and your insurance provider cancels your policy. You are then stopped by the police for no insurance and get 6 penalty points on your license, finding yourself with 12 points on your license.
What will happen if the penalty points can’t be avoided?
If you do find yourself in the position of having 12 points on your license, your case would be heard by the Magistrates Court who would consider a punishment of disqualification for at least 6 months.
However, if imposing the disqualification would cause hardship beyond what the legislation intended, you can argue ‘exceptional hardship’. A usual example of an exceptional hardship case would be in circumstances when it can be proved that other people would be affected by your loss of license such as any care responsibilities you have for an elderly or ill relative or family members. A successful argument would result in the 12 points remaining on your license although no disqualification would be imposed.
Exceptional hardship is not easy to plead although with a carefully thought out and prepared case by a specialist lawyer, you would be putting yourself in the best possible position to avoid the disqualification. Our team of specialised solicitors will be able to offer you advice and legal assistance in regards to motoring offences.