Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Girl, 12, disqualified from driving

Children as young as 12 are among those disqualified from driving
Children as young as 12 are among those disqualified from driving

A 12-year-old girl and seven other youngsters aged either 12 or 13 are among people disqualified from driving, according to latest figures.

These young offenders are among 230 people under the age of 17 who are currently disqualified, statistics from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) show.

"It is of great concern that youngsters not even eligible to hold a provisional licence are being banned at such young ages," said IAM chief executive Simon Best.

The figures were supplied by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency following a Freedom of Information Act request made by the IAM.

They showed that 92,136 people in the UK were disqualified from driving between July 2013 and June 2014. Of those about 62,000 are still disqualified.

As many as 36,001 of the 92,136 were in the 20-30 age range, including 31,668 male drivers. Only 3,874 of the disqualifications involved drivers in their 60s and only 15% involved women motorists.

Mr Best said: "These statistics strongly reflect the research we have already carried out in this area - that young males are very much the at risk group when it comes to driving safety.

"We believe targeting the attitudes of these drivers specifically, through advanced training for example, should be a major part of future road safety campaigning. Reducing offending in this age bracket would dramatically improve safety on our roads for all road users."

On the youngest offenders, Mr Best added: " Parents need to be aware their children are putting their own lives and those of others at huge risk by taking the wheel of a car on public roads."

AA Driving School managing director Jim Kirkwood said: "These figures reflect the poor attitude to road safety some young people sadly adopt. We need to help encourage them to develop a more responsible attitude to keeping themselves, and everyone else, safe on the roads.

"Education is the best way to do this, and it needs to start from a young age with road safety on the National Curriculum."

The under-age offenders could, typically, have been caught driving stolen cars or been illegally let loose behind the wheel by misguided parents.

Those disqualified would still be able to take driving lessons at 16 but once they pass their test their disqualification would immediately kick in.

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