'We must get tough on dangerous drivers'
A BOLTON MP has called for tougher driving laws — and criticised a number of celebrities who have escaped being banned from the road.
Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, took part in a debate on dangerous driving in parliament, where she said the current laws were not being taken seriously enough.
It follows a report in The Bolton News about how a Bolton woman is still driving despite having 27 points on her licence, clocked up through speeding offences.
Drivers are usually banned from the road after they reach 12 points, unless a magistrate agrees that if they lost their licence they would face exceptional hardship.
During the debate Ms Hilling highlighted how a poll on The Bolton News website showed 83 per cent of readers thought 12 points should result in a ban.
She said: “If a driver can clock up 47 points, 27 points or even just 15 points, it seems to me that they have a disregard for the law and therefore pose a risk to other road users.
“We need to tackle not only the sentencing of people convicted of causing death or serious injury by dangerous driving, but the whole issue of driving offences and our attitude to the way cars can be used as weapons.
“We need drivers to realise at every level of offence that bad behaviour will be punished in order to make roads safer.”
Ms Hilling also pointed to the cases of Premiership foot-baller Zak Whitbread, who admitted to speeding at 97mph with 17 points, who escaped a ban after saying he would not be able to find another football job if he couldn’t drive.
She also highlighted how Sean Fitzgerald, son of ‘Amarillo’ singer Tony Christie, was allowed to keep his licence after totting up 25 points by arguing he would not be able to drive his dad to gigs if he was banned.
Ms Hilling said: “There are many other cases of people who escaped bans.
“Not all those 8,000 people are famous, but often they are rich enough to pay a good barrister to get them off.”
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