MPs call for Highway Code changes and more driving bans to protect cyclists

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More and more drivers are avoiding disqualification despite having more than 12 points on their licence, according to a report by MPs.

The All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) said there was an urgent need to close the legal loophole that allows over 8,500 drivers with 12 points or more on their licence to continue driving.

The law states that drivers who accrue more than 12 points on their licence within a three-year period should be automatically banned from driving for a minimum of six months. However, they can avoid this by pleading that the loss of their licence will cause them exceptional hardship.

This means that growing numbers of drivers who have been proved to be dangerous remain on the roads, said Ruth Cadbury, Labour MP and co-chair of the APPCG.

Elsewhere in the report, MPs called for the Highway Code to be revised to give clearer priority to cyclists and other vulnerable road users, particularly in relation to close overtaking and the need to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at side road crossings.

The driving test should also be changed, the report said, to help improve driver behaviour towards cyclists.

Cadbury said: "The evidence we have heard during our inquiry is truly shocking.

"Threatening behaviour by vehicle drivers towards more vulnerable road users who are on bikes and on foot is routinely tolerated and rarely punished; our roads police are under-resourced; and people who have flagrantly and habitually flouted the law are allowed to continue being a menace on our roads.

"This idea there is a 'right to drive', when it is clearly a privilege, is taking precedence over the right to safety on our roads for everyone."

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