‘Shocking’: 54,000 learner drivers have penalty points

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 09:00
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SHOCK: Many learners caught speeding

More than a fifth of motoring offenders received penalty points before they had officially passed their test, shocking new statistics have revealed.

Freedom of Information data obtained by Confused.com from the DVLA has shown 22% of drivers that have received penalty points accumulated them before actually passing their test.

Furthermore, 53,988 provisional licence holders currently have valid penalty points on their licence.

Of those learner drivers to receive penalty points for a motoring offence, 60% have been caught speeding, 43% have jumped a red light and 33% have driven without insurance.

Almost three in ten motorists were also found to be unaware that they could obtain penalty points before officially passing their test.

Gemma Stanbury, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com, said it was ‘worrying’ that 28% of motorists admitted to not feeling confident while learning to drive.

The research discovered 33% of people believe the co-driver or driving instructor should be held responsible for any motoring offences committed by a leaner.

A further 12% argued that they should even be forced to take the points off the learner.

“We’re aware that people might make mistakes along the way as they learn to drive, however practising road safety is an important part of the process, and picking up bad habits such as speeding or jumping lights before officially passing your driving test is never a good way to start,” said Ms Stanbury.

“It’s concerning that a considerable number of motorists were unaware that they could get penalty points on their licence before officially passing their test.

“Not only could these points contribute to their licence being revoked if they accumulate six points in any way within the first two years of driving, but they could also lead to increased insurance premiums when they are able to get back behind the wheel.”

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, added: “It is incredibly shocking that so many new drivers are accumulating points especially before officially passing their test.

“The one positive aspect is that bad driving is being spotted and prosecuted.

“Attitudes to driving are set from a very young age so parents have a key role to play in preventing their child becoming an accident statistic.”

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