Double standards in courts

In 2016, new driver regulations were introduced, with the intention of saving the lives of young or inexperienced drivers. They stated any serious driving offence attracting six penalty points or more, will end in the new driver’s full licence being withdrawn, and the driver reinstated as a learner with a requirement to retake and pass a theory exam and the practical test.

At any one time I understand, up to 13,000 licences stand revoked nationally.

On June 29 my granddaughter was driving on Great Western Way at 1am and at some point the speed limit dropped to 50 mph. A police officer with a handheld speed recording device, monitored her speed just in excess of 70 mph, in what was by then a 50 mph limit. The road was clear and night time visibility was good.

With the offence hanging over her head for close to nine months, eventually it came to court and six points caused her licence to be revoked. No argument from us. It is a lesson well learnt.

However (SA, April 4) I note an account of another young man’s driving within the first year of his licence, between Swindon and Highworth over a distance of 6 miles. “The 19-year-old tailgated other vehicles, overtook on the approach to a pedestrian crossing and reached a maximum speed of 90 mph in a 40 mph zone.”

Magistrate Peter Wells decided this did not merit six points in the first year, so this teenager remains out there, perhaps chastened, who knows? This decision is perverse and in contravention of the spirit and intent of the new driver regulations.

The angst for my granddaughter continues. Unlike the young man her insurance is now prohibitive. Due to Covid her licence has not yet been returned in provisional form so she has also been handed an effective driving disqualification, already for eight weeks. Unlike the young man, because of backlogs and delays in the testing regime both theory and practical, it could be months before she is able to resit the tests. Unlike the young man she will be forced to remain a learner again for some long time.

It is small wonder that young people hold our adult justice system in such contempt, when clearly comparable offences are treated, inexplicably, so differently!

John Stooke Haydon End Swindon Do you have a view on the news? Send a letter to the editor via