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More than 1,000 children disqualified from driving in 2017

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Figures obtained by the BBC show that more than 1,000 children aged 16 and under were banned from driving last year

A total of 1,024 children aged 16 and under were banned from driving last year, compared with 696 in 2014, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

The data, which came from a Freedom of Information Request submitted to the DVLA, also showed that 33 driving bans were given to kids aged 13 and under, with the youngest ones being 12-years-old.

UK courts can impose a driving ban on children who are legally too young to drive. The ban lifts once they turn 17 but penalty points would remain on their license.

Simon Williams, spokesman for RAC Insurance, said: “These figures are truly shocking, as every underage driver presents a frightening danger to other road users, as they could so easily end up taking someone else’s life as well as their own.

“Sadly, this is almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg because they have to be caught breaking the law in this way and, with a 27 per cent reduction in the number of roads policing officers since 2010, the chances of getting caught are far lower. This means many underage drivers are inevitably getting away scot-free.

“Every child that gets behind the wheel is also driving without insurance, which is a cost that is borne by every law-abiding motorist who pays car insurance. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which acts as the insurer of last resort, pays out around 25,000 claims on uninsured and untraced, or ‘hit and run’, drivers every year, with 120 of these involving accidents where someone lost their life.

(PA)
(PA)

“In this day and age, we really shouldn’t be having children driving before they’re allowed to legally with their provisional driving licence at 17. More needs to be done to stop this happening, but we appreciate it’s a very difficult problem to tackle, especially when legitimate young drivers are renting out vehicles to groups of children so they can have a go at the wheel.

“It also seems very wrong that children caught committing this offence can serve their bans while they are legally not allow to drive, leaving them free to start learning to drive once they turn 17.”

Written by Tristan Shale-Hester

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