Scottish Liberal Democrats today revealed that more than 7000 Scots a year have their driving licenses taken away but that the number is falling, raising questions about whether this is due to increased public awareness or the pressures on front line policing.
A freedom of information request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats found 22,345 drivers registered in Scotland were disqualified during the last three years, with drunk driving the most common cause. A further 1,329 had their licenses revoked.
The new figures, provided by the DVLA, also revealed that while 3.6 million drivers have a clean license, almost 300,000 people have points. There are 247 drivers who have accumulated more than 12 points but retained their licenses, with some still on the road with as many as 20 points.
Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson, Mike Rumbles MSP, commented:
“Thousands of Scots won’t be driving home for Christmas this year. These new figures show that more than 20,000 drivers in Scotland have been disqualified during the last three years
“Drunk driving remains the most common cause for someone’s license to be removed. Scotland has rightly taken a zero tolerance approach to this and it is one that is supported across society and the political spectrum. Drivers would do well to remember over the festive period that even one drink could tip them over the lower limit with far-reaching consequences for other roads users, as well as their own social and working lives.
“The fact that the number of drivers being disqualified does raise questions. If it is the case that public awareness campaigns are proving more effective, then that is welcome. But if we are seeing the consequences of an increasingly stretched police service giving drivers more scope to go unchecked then it is an altogether different story.
“We know the pressure the national force is under as a result of the SNP’s reckless centralisation of our local services and unrealistic budget demands. There have been reports of them being told not to investigate drug dealers and of officers covering for civilian staff in offices.
“We need assurances from the Scottish Government that the reduction in the number of drivers being disqualified is a reflection of changing driving cultures as opposed to the police not having the resources they need to keep us safe.”