10,000 new drivers had licences revoked in 2012

17/04/14

About 200 new drivers had their licences revoked each week in 2012, figures obtained by Newsbeat show.

A Freedom of Information request to the DVLA found 10,797 drivers with fewer than two years' experience lost their licences.

More than half of those were found without insurance, with speeding the second most common cause.

The figures, the latest available, showed the number had fallen by 13% since 2010 - from 12,461.

Around 0.6% of licences were revoked as a result of driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

If drivers receive six or more points within the first two years of driving they have to resit their tests.

Scott Pendry, of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said the reason a high proportion of drivers were prosecuted for being uninsured was because they were easier to catch.

Due to advances in technology people driving uninsured are being identified in a much better way
Scott Pendry
Association of British Insurers

"Due to advances in technology, people driving uninsured are being identified in a much better way. So if they are not on the central database showing they are insured, they will face severe ramifications," he said.

The ABI said it supported calls for better driver training, curfews and the introduction of a minimum learning period.

The figures show the number caught driving without the minimum third party insurance has fallen slightly, with 5,884 new drivers caught compared with 5,920 in 2010.

No sympathy

The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB), which calculates the number of uninsured drivers on UK roads, says the figure supported its research, which suggested the number of uninsured drivers was falling.

It estimated that in 2009 one in six 17 to 20-year-old drivers did not have basic cover, but now that is about one in 17.

It suggested it could be because more innovative products had been introduced in the insurance market for young drivers.

The data showed 2,139 new drivers had their licence revoked for speeding.

Road safety charity Brake said it was not surprised and did not have any sympathy for drivers who received six points.

Its campaigns adviser Gary Rae said the drivers were putting themselves and others at risk "in a moment's madness".

He said: "We don't want to be heavy about this. We want to protect new drivers. They are a vulnerable group of people."

He also believes proper enforcement is as important as education.

"It's tempting, isn't it? It's exciting, you've passed your test. You may have a new car and you want to put your foot down," he said.

"But please don't. It's reckless and it can end up in death, and that does happen."

'Cautioned on the spot'

Chris Moore, from Southend, Essex, had his licence revoked 18 months after passing his test.

He was caught after bumping another vehicle at a roundabout but said he had not been intentionally driving without insurance.

"I was a named driver on my dad's policy but his car was broken down at the time.

"He wanted me to run an errand. We checked the policy and it said the 'policyholder could drive any other car'."

Mr Moore drove another car but as he returned home he shunted a vehicle in front.

"It wasn't until we got to the police station to hand in documents the next day that I was told I wasn't covered."

Mr Moore and his father had misunderstood the terms of the policy. As a "named driver", Mr Moore was not the "policyholder".

He said: "If we'd spotted it I'd have never driven the car. I was cautioned on the spot.

"It was about six months later that I went to court. The magistrate was happy that I didn't do it deliberately but the least they could give me was a £125 fine and six points."

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