So you’ve done something wrong behind the wheel and you’ve been banned from UK roads. What is your natural response?
Apparently, it’s to keep on driving.
New research from Churchill Insurance has revealed that 150,115 motorists across England and Wales were caught driving while already disqualified between 2005 and 2015, putting millions of drivers at risk on the road. In the same time period, 3,911 children aged 17 and under were successfully prosecuted for driving while already banned from the road, revealing that some of these drivers were awarded two formal driving disqualifications before they were even legally allowed to get behind the wheel.
From this total, the study reveals that 6,592 motorists were prosecuted for driving while disqualified during 2015 alone – approximately 18 motorists a day. From this, 87 successful prosecutions involved drivers aged 17 or under.
According to Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill, one of the issues may be the size of the fines dished out. While the value of fines for those caught driving while disqualified totalled £3,152,225 from 2005-2015, the average fine issued by the courts was just £247 – indeed 44% received fines of £150 or less.
“Disqualification from driving isn’t just a punishment for committing a very serious driving offence, or series of offences; it’s in the interests of all road users and their safety,” he said. “It is, therefore, both shocking and frightening that thousands of those disqualified from driving still continue to get behind the wheel, putting law-abiding road users at risk.
“With the average fine for driving while disqualified averaging a mere £247, Churchill believes the penalties should be considerably tougher to serve as real deterrents and ensure the public’s safety.”
Top five reasons why motorists have been disqualified from driving in 2016
Source: Churchill Car Insurance, 20162
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||Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit
||To signify a disqualification under totting up procedure
||Driving or attempting to drive with drug level above the specified limit
||Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis
||Driving while disqualified by order of Court