New research shows that 33 drivers are having their licence revoked every day with those aged between 17-24 making up two thirds of that shocking figure.
A Freedom of Information request made by the road safety charity, Brake, has uncovered that 11,953 new drivers had their licences taken off them in 2018 under the New Drivers Act 2018.
The Act states that any driver who attains six or more points within two years of passing their test will have their licence binned. The (now former) driver will then have to go through the entire training process again – from getting a new provisional licence through to passing the theory and practical tests.
According to Brake, there is an even bigger problem with the startling figures though – 62% of the new drivers who have been banned are aged between 17-24, something that is of huge concern to the charity who says the age group is more at risk when on our roads compared to many other age groups; while the 17-24 year olds only make up 7% of all licence holders, they represent a fifth of all drivers who are either seriously injured or killed on the UK’s roads.
Call for Graduated Driver Licensing
This has led to Brake reiterating its call for a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system to be introduced as soon as possible. While the government is currently considering GDL, Brake wants to see a raft of tough measures introduced as soon as possible that include:
• A minimum of 12 months spent learning to drive before tests can be taken
• A two-year ‘novice period’ once the learner has qualified to drive
• Restrictions on what they are allowed to do when behind the wheel during this period including a late-night driving curfew
• An instant ban if the driver commits any driving offences during the two-year period.
That may sound tough – and some have argued impractical – but Brake’s director of campaigns, Joshua Harris, believes it is “shocking that so many new drivers are racking up enough penalty points to have their licences revoked so soon after passing their test.
“It clearly demonstrates that we need to make our licensing system more robust so that when a driver passes their test, they have all the necessary tools and knowledge to drive safely on all roads and in all conditions.”
The Bottom Line
The data retrieved by Brake through its FOI request reveals a definitive and worrying trend for those aged between 17-24. For instance, in 2018, the number of new drivers banned were:
Age / Total No.
17 – 146
18 – 993
19 – 1,649
20 – 1,395
21 – 1,026
22 – 839
23 – 726
24 – 630.
Perhaps more concerning is that the number of new drivers being banned overall has grown over the past three years:
Year / Total No.
2016 – 9,367
2017 – 10,719
2018 – 11,953.
Whether you agree with Brake’s call for GDL or not, it is clear that something needs to change to reverse the trend – and ensure new drivers are better, safer drivers once they have torn up their L plates.
Main image © West Midlands Police