Data released today reveals that the number of driving bans handed out to children aged 16 and under last year increased to 1,024. That’s up from 696 in 2014, with children as young as 12 disqualified by the courts.
The data, which was obtained as part of a freedom of information request by the BBC, disclosed that 33 children aged under 13 were banned in 2017.
Motoring organisation the RAC described the figures as the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Spokesman Simon Williams told the BBC: “It presents such a danger to every other road user, because they’re not only driving without a licence, they don’t have insurance.
“No doubt this is the tip of the iceberg because they have to be caught breaking the law and inevitably many will be getting away scot-free.”
He added the number of roads policing officers had been cut by more than a quarter since 2010, so “the chances of getting caught are far lower”.
Currently, UK courts can impose bans and penalty points for those without a driving licence – including those too young to legally drive. Once they turn 17 and their disqualification period ends, they’re able to get behind the wheel again.
A 15-year-old boy was recently detained for four and a half years after crashing a stolen car into a tree and killing five people. The teenager, who cannot be named due to his age, was said to have been hitting speeds of 88mph and admitted five counts of death by dangerous driving.