More than 600,000 British drivers are just "one touch of their phone” away from disqualification new research has found. 

Motorists can be disqualified from driving if they accumulate 12 or more points on their licence within a three-year period.

Points and driving offences can be kept on your licence for anywhere from four to 11 years, depending on the severity of the incident.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Are you one of more than 600,000 British drivers one offence away from being disqualified?Are you one of more than 600,000 British drivers one offence away from being disqualified? (Image: Getty Images)

Varying amounts of points are handed out for motoring offences, such as using a vehicle with defective brakes, speeding and drug-driving.

More than 600,000 Brits "one touch of their phone” away from disqualification

Analysis of official data obtained by IAM RoadSmart found that 547,287 British drivers had six points on their licence as of August 5, 2023 and a further 94,088 had nine points.

The figures are based on analysis based off a freedom of information request put to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) shared with the PA news agency.

The punishment for illegally using a mobile phone behind the wheel was toughened in 2017 and now those caught face six penalty points on their licence and a £200 fine.

New Highway Code rules in 2022

This means more than 600,000 drivers in the UK are just "one touch of their phone” away from the 12 points needed for disqualification.

Department for Transport statistics show 22 people were killed and a further 148 were badly injured in crashes on Britain’s roads in 2022 where a driver using a mobile phone was a contributory factor.

IAM RoadSmart director of policy, campaigns and standards Nicholas Lyes said: “It is astounding that there are more half a million drivers just one touch of their phone away from a driving ban.

“Anyone with six points on their licence that is tempted to text or take a selfie on their phone is not only risking a ban but is a potential danger to themselves and other road users.

“A pinging phone can be a massive distraction, so it is best to put it out of sight, out of reach and on silent.

“Drivers with any number of points on their licence – but especially those with six or nine – should not only evaluate their driving skills but think about the risk a driving ban could have on their livelihoods."

You can check your driver's licence and how many points are on it by visiting the website.

Driving offences and penalty points

The minimum number of points you can get on your licence for a particular driving offence is 2 while the maximum is 11.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: You can check how many points you have on your licence by visiting the website.You can check how many points you have on your licence by visiting the website. (Image: Getty Images)

Driving offences that carry a maximum of 11 points on your licence include:

  • Causing death (or serious injury) by driving while disqualified
  • Drink-driving
  • Drug-driving
  • Dangerous driving
  • Motor racing on the highway
  • Aggravated taking of a vehicle

You can receive 10 points on your licence for offences including failing to stop after an accident.

While offences like speeding (3-6 points), failing to comply with traffic signals, driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability (3-6 points) or driving with uncorrected defective eyesight can land you three points.

The minimum two points only apply for play street offences.

The full list of driving offences and the corresponding points can be found on the website.