A Freedom of Information Request granted to the RAC has found that nearly 1,000 children were convicted of driving with no insurance in 2014. This constitutes a rise of 21%, more than a fifth, since 2012. The figures came to the RAC from the DVLA and related to all drivers aged under seventeen.
991 under 17s were caught behind the wheel on public roads without insurance in 2014 and this is 169 more than in 2012, despite these drivers not even being old enough to hold any kind of driving licence. The problem has also been found to be a male dominated issue, with 961 males under 17 convicted, compared to 30 females.
Some of the drivers were as young as 12 and 13, with the youngest child convicted aged just 11 and the figures found that boys were dominant in every category. These figures show that the issues surrounding young male drivers appear to relevant even before licences are issued. Speaking on behalf of the RAC, their insurance director Mark Godfrey described the number of children caught driving as ‘shocking’.
The information requested by the RAC also showed all the information relating to non-licence holder and among drivers of any age not holding a valid driving licence the conviction rate is also high. 15,307 people not holding valid licences were convicted in 2014 which has risen 6% from the figures from 2012.
Even when looking at drivers will full and valid licences there are still many driving without insurance and the RAC’s research based on these figures found that men are three and a half times more likely to be convicted of driving without valid insurance, with 45,838 male convictions and 12,879 female convictions for this crime. These figures have fallen since 2012 but there is still a bias towards men.
Once again discussing these findings, Mark Godfrey commented: “Sadly, we may have little choice but to accept there will always be a minority of young males who will be prepared to drive without a licence or insurance. The fact that the number convicted has remained so high suggests a greater focus is needed to work with this group, so they understand better the risks and potential consequences of their actions.”
Driving without insurance is not only illegal it is extremely dangerous and you are putting yourself and all other road users at risk. It is an expensive commitment but over time premiums do come down and it is an essential requirement if you want to drive on public roads around the UK.