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More than 50,000 learner drivers have penalty points

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Written by:
26/06/2014
More than a fifth of motoring offenders received penalty points before they had officially passed their test, according to official data.

The data obtained by Confused.com from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) revealed there are currently 53,988 provisional licence holders with valid penalty points, meaning they have committed a motoring offence while still learning to drive.

However, nearly three in 10 drivers were unaware it was even possible to get points on a provisional license.

The majority of these points were given out for speeding (60 per cent), but learner drivers were also caught jumping red lights (43 per cent) and driving without insurance (33 per cent), while 15 per cent were booked for driving recklessly.

Gemma Stanbury, head of car insurance at Confused.com, said: “We’re aware that people might make mistakes along the way as they learn to drive. However, practicing 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.”

The research suggests that a third of people believe the co-driver or driving instructor should be responsible for any offences committed by learning drivers – with 12 per cent arguing that the instructor should take the points.

Under current law the actual driver is responsible even if his or her license is provisional.

If a driver reaches five or six points in the first two years after passing their driving test their license is revoked.

Stanbury concluded: “Not only could these points contribute to their licence being revoked, but they could also lead to increased insurance premiums when they are able to get back behind the wheel.”

A DVLA Spokesman said: “We take road safety very seriously and all motorists, including learner drivers, should be aware that if they drive irresponsibly they can be prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, one in six people think learner drivers should face more difficult theory tests before hitting the roads.

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