There has been a significant rise in the number of newly qualified drivers losing their driving licence across Northen Ireland and the U.K. within the first two years of passing their test reveals a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by IAM RoadSmart.
The worrying finding by the largest independent road safety charity in the UK, shows disqualifications have risen sharply among this group in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to 5,401, 7,484 and 7,975 respectively.
Driving without insurance is one of the top reasons newly qualified drivers are falling foul of the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act, with more than 12,000 caught driving without insurance documents since 2018.
The new drivers Act, was introduced to give newly qualified drivers 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. For example two PCNs (penalty charge notices) 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 newly qualified drivers to lose their licence, with more than 5,500 being convicted of this.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research, said: “These figures paint a worrying picture. 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.”
Other main reasons for new drivers losing their licence within their probation period, include failing to provide information about who was driving the vehicle when an offence was committed, and not being in control of the vehicle such as by using a mobile phone.
Neil added: “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.”
For more information about IAM RoadSmart, which helps to improve driving and riding skills through courses and coaching, visit www.iamroadsmart.com.
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