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One in five learner drivers have penalty points

One in five learner drivers obtain points on their licence before passing their test, according to official figures.

Points mean prizes in some situations, but certainly not when driving. Unfortunately it seems a number of learner drivers are unaware of this fact because 54,000 of them have penalty points on their licence.

Figures obtained by the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency via a Freedom of Information request revealed the startling figures, which show 22 per cent of learner drivers – that’s 54,000 provisional licence holders in the UK – have penalty points to their name. That means one in five learners are already packing points before they have even passed their test.

Of the 54,000 offenders, 60 per cent were given points for speeding, 43 per cent for jumping a red light, 33 per cent for driving without insurance and 15 per cent for driving recklessly. And we thought our driving lessons went badly.

In an online poll of 2,000 motorists by insurance broker Confused.com, 29 per cent of drivers thought their learner status made them immune to penalty points. 40 per cent admitted to being unaware their full driving licence would be revoked if they accumulated six points in the first two years since passing.

“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,” Confused.com car insurance head Gemma Stanbury said.

Confused.com also looked at who is responsible for the driving offences. 33 per cent believed the co-driver or driving instructor should take the blame, while 12 per cent said they should take the points for the learner.

17 per cent felt learner drivers should take a more difficult theory test before being allowed on UK roads. Meanwhile 28 per cent admitted to not feeling confident when learning to drive.

Road safety charity Institute of Advanced Motorists director Neil Greig commented: “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,” he added.

Is the learner driver responsible, or should whoever is in the passenger seat stop these moments from happening?

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