Motors

Young men most likely to face roads ban

Thousands of young men have received driving bans since 2011

MORE than 5,400 drivers under the age of 25 have been banned since 2011, with men accounting for 87 per cent of the motorists ordered off the roads.

The figures, obtained through a freedom of information request by New Driver NI, which promotes best practice and safety to young drivers in Northern Ireland, show that the majority of disqualifications were made because those charged had no insurance, had been driving with excess alcohol, or were found to be driving dangerously.

Last year, six times as many male drivers were banned compared with their female counterparts, making up the 1,172 drivers aged between 17 and 25 who had their licences revoked.

The figures offer further evidence that younger drivers, particularly men, remain most at risk of death or injury on our roads.

Between 2011 and 2014, almost 1,000 young drivers had their driving licences revoked for receiving six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test.

"I was astonished to see so many young drivers being disqualified from the roads every year for a variety of very serious offences and the huge challenges we still have in attempting to educate, support and guide them during those first few years behind the wheel," said Stephen Savage from New Driver NI.

"We know how much time, concentration and effort is made in both practice and theory by those trying to obtain a licence in the first instance, which is why these figures make such difficult reading.

"Clearly, more guidance and a regular reminder on the basics are still needed to ensure everyone's safety.

"We also know that the cost of insurance for new drivers can be a huge challenge and that many are tempted to avoid addressing the issue.

"For everyone's sake, we are urging all young drivers to make sure that they are properly covered for the vehicle they are driving and to be acutely aware of the rules around driving with alcohol or drugs, using a mobile phone and what constitutes dangerous driving."

New Driver NI, which manages the newdriverni.com website and publishes an annual magazine aimed at promoting best practice among younger drivers, is involved in giving road safety presentations to schools and colleges.

Mr Savage said "these shocking figures" will be used in its latest roadshows.

Working with road safety charity Brake, New Driver NI is working to encourage 18,000 young people to promote safe motoring and to get at least 10,000 signatories from students to make the 'Brake Pledge', which encourages drivers to slow down, never use a mobile phone, always wear a seatbelt and to never drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

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