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Increase in new drivers losing their licences

New drivers throwing it all away with six points in less than two years

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You go through all the time, expense and drama of learning to drive, take a theory test and a practical examination and finally get your full licence. Then you throw it all away by losing it through disqualification less than two years later. Sounds unbelievable?

Not for nearly 8,000 people last year, it wasn’t.

Figures obtained by independent road safety charity group IAM Roadsmart has shown a worrying increase in the number of new drivers losing their licence within 24 months of passing their driving test.

The findings show that disqualifications have risen sharply among newly qualified drivers: 5,401 drivers lost their licences in 2018, increasing to 7,484 in 2019 and again to 7,975 last year.

Driving without insurance is one of the top reasons why new drivers are falling foul of the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act. More than 12,000 have been caught driving without proper cover since 2018.

The New Drivers Act was introduced to give newly qualified motorists a probationary period of two years after passing their driving test.  During this time, drivers will lose their licence if they commit offences leading to six or more points on their licence. 

So two penalty charge notices (PCNs) for speeding would mean automatic disqualification. Once the newly qualified driver reaches six points they need to retake both their theory and practical driving tests again.

Speeding was the second highest reason for new drivers losing their licences, with more than 5,500 being convicted of this. Other reasons for the newly qualified to lose their licence within their probation period include not being control of the vehicle – often by using a mobile phone behind the wheel – and failing to provide information about who was driving a vehicle when an offence was committed.

“These figures paint a worrying picture,” says Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research. “It is the responsibility of all drivers, whether they are newly qualified or more experienced behind the wheel, to drive safely and within the law at all times and to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy and insured for the purpose it is being used.

“Driver education is something that drivers should want to continue and develop as they gain experience behind the wheel. Post-test driver training such as an advanced course or driver training through employment allows the driver to continue to improve their confidence, skills and ability to drive safely on our roads.”

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Tom Johnston
Tom Johnstonhttp://johnstonmedia.com/
Tom Johnston was the first-ever reporter on national motoring magazine Auto Express. He went on to become that magazine’s News Editor and Assistant Editor, and has also been Motoring Correspondent for the Daily Star and contributor to the Daily and Sunday Express. Today, as a freelance writer, content creator and copy editor, Tom works with exciting and interesting websites and magazines on varied projects.
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