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Midsomer Murders Residents Have England's Highest Number Of Penalty Points

By raccars Published

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The tranquil Oxfordshire village of Watlington is most famous for being the site of filming for TV's crime drama series, Midsomer Murders. However, residents are now facing some real life drama of their own, claiming aggressive policing has led to them accruing twice the national average number of licence penalty points.

Nearly 14% of drivers living in sleepy Watlington have penalty points on their licences, double the national average. The 2,000 residents, however, claim that their reputation for bad driving has been artificially inflated by 'sneaky' police tactics. Apparently, officers with mobile speed cameras hide behind corners, hedges and walls trying to catch out residents leaving the town, heading towards the M40 on a road with a 30mph speed limit. There is a lay by on the B-road where a Thames Valley Police van can often be seen parked.

While residents are up in arms about the methods the police are using to catch speeding drivers, others are concerned that traffic in the town is dangerous due to narrow roads and congestion, with some motorists attempting to speed through the little streets.

Data from the DVLA shows that the OX49 postcode area, where Watlington can be found, is home to 3,603 driving licence holders, 493 of whom have accrued penalty points. The national average amount of drivers with penalty points is 6.47%, but these figures put OX49 residents at 13.68%. A similar situation can be seen in Poole, Slough, Uxbridge and Worcester. Overall, Glasgow tops the UK's penalty points list, with far more drivers there gaining penalty points than average, but again the figures are attributed to strict enforcement policies.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists has commented on the issue, pointing out that the statistics released reflect police activity in these areas rather than driver behaviour.

Further research into DVLA figures suggests that the most popular demographic to earn penalty points for speeding is men aged 42-50. Motoring organisations have attributed this to higher mileage and riskier driving behaviour. The law currently recommends that drivers' licences are suspended upon the accumulation of 12 penalty points within three years. However, licences can be retained at judges' discretion. There are 2,304 motorists in the UK driving with 13 or more points on their licences.

One Liverpool man has managed to hang on to his licence with 45 points, which were issued for speeding and for failure to disclose who was at the wheel, a driver in Warrington has earned 36 points due to driving without insurance and in Lincoln, a female driver has 34 points.

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