Peterborough’s bad drivers: What’s the point if the points don’t mean a ban?

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

I don’t believe there is a single driver on Peterborough roads who has not committed a motoring offence.

Whether it is driving a few miles over the speed limit or losing concentration and being careless for a second, you wouldn’t be human if you haven’t.

But there are some people who get behind the wheel who have scant regard for the law.

They habitually speed, don’t have the proper documents and drive with no regard for others or the rules.

Sometimes they get caught and punished and if they get caught they usually get penalty points.

If these law-breaking drivers get caught often enough those points are totted up and lead to a driving ban.

Or sometimes they don’t.

If the offending driver, with the help of his lawyer, can convince the courts a ban would cause “exceptional hardship’’ they can be spared.

There are 120 people legally driving in Peterborough with 12 or more points on their licence. One even has 24 points, twice the usual limit for a ban.

I struggle to understand why these exceptions are made. These are not people making one mistake, these are serial offenders.

And if the offender faces hardship because, for example, he needs a car to get to work or hospital, why can’t he or she be banned from using their car for any other journey?

And if they broke that condition, they could, er, get some more points.

CRIME

Never give up

There will be plenty of people who have read the Rikki Neave story in who will think: “What a waste of time and money.’’

Despite early optimism, a three-year-long cold case inquiry involving 25 police officers has failed to make a significant breakthrough.

Rikki Neave was a six-year-old Peterborough lad who was brutally murdered in 1994 near his home on the Welland estate.

His killer or killers have so far escaped justice.

So a child killer, the lowest of the absolute low, is walking around scot free, maybe even amongst us in Peterborough.

I hope the police never give up trying to solve this terrible crime, whatever the cost.

Some might argue the review has taken time and money that the under pressure Cambridgeshire police force can ill afford to spare.

But if there was even a slight chance of snaring a child killer, they couldn’t afford not to.

DEVELOPMENT

North Wait-gate

There has been another twist in the sage of North Westgate with new plans being brought forward by developer Peter Breach. Perhaps the key is to rename the project. After all the seemingy cursed South Bank project suddenly became a reality as Fletton Quays. I suggest (in an unusual outbreak of optimism) Worth The Wait Plaza.

COMMUNITY

Kudos to the clean-up crew

What great work by 12-year-old Danny White who took matters into his own hands and with the help of friends and neighbours cleared an overgrown path at the back of his home in Bretton. The path was covered in plantation that had spilled over from land the city council is responsible for. You might have thought the council would have shown some civic pride and dealt with it. But no, a council spokesman said: “We do not have a duty to cut vegetation which is overhanging on private property.’’

Hmm, the council might not have a legal duty but what about a moral one?