54,000 learners get licence points before passing test

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26 Jun, 2014 12:30pm Joe Finnerty

A fifth of UK motoring offenders have received points before even passing their test

Almost 54,000 learners have already clocked up points on their provisional licences, according to DVLA data.

Statistics obtained by a confused.com survey also found that more than a third of UK drivers have clocked up points at some point but a fifth of these received them before even passing their test.

The 54,000 drivers on provisional licences who had already received points were most guilty of speeding (60 per cent). Jumping a red light (43 per cent) was the next most common offence followed by a third who’d been caught driving without insurance. One in six of the 53,988 learners had been charged with driving carelessly.

Some learners were unaware they could get points

Despite many motorists being charged with driving offences while still on a provisional licence, 29 per cent of those surveyed were unaware that they could even get penalty points before officially passing their driving test.

A further 40 per cent of drivers were oblivious to the fact that if they reached six or more penalty points in the first two years of passing their test, their licence would be revoked.

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Many drivers also said they didn’t feel confident while learning to drive and a third said the co-driver or instructor should be held responsible for the offences with 12 per cent arguing they should actually take the points on behalf of the learner.

However, it is illegal for anyone other than the driver to take the penalty points or conviction on their behalf. The law is clear that if a motoring offence is committed then the driver is liable for any penalty, such as points on their licence or attending an awareness course, even if they are a learner.

One in six favour tougher theory tests for learners

According to the findings, one in six people think learner drivers should face more difficult theory tests before being allowed on the roads, to make them safer and more aware of the rules of the road. 

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 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.”

A DVLA spokesman added: "We take road safety very seriously and all motorists, including learner drivers, should be aware that if they drive irresponsibly they can be prosecuted. Any penalty points on a provisional licence will be carried over to a driver's full licence after they pass their test. If a driver gets six or more points within two years of passing their test they will lose their licence and need to pass both parts of their test again.”

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