'A child a week' convicted of dangerous driving

Police stop a youth
923 children have been prosecuted more than once for driving offences Credit: Geoff Pugh

New research reveals 66 children – more than one a week – were convicted in 2015 for dangerous driving, while 12 were convicted of drink-driving

At least one child was convicted for dangerous driving every week on average in 2015, according to new research that’s been released today.

66 people under the age of 17 were convicted of driving dangerously – despite not even being old enough to have a driving licence, according to the statistics revealed by Churchill Insurance this morning.

12 children were convicted of driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol, while one minor under 17 was convicted for causing death by dangerous driving.

Other statistics revealed included two children convicted of drug-related driving offences last year, as well as four who failed to provide a specimen for drink and drug analysis.

The figures have caused Churchill to issue a call for an urgent review of the current deterrents to under-age driving. Currently, punishments include disqualification from driving before a child is even able to hold a driving licence, and as punishments take effect from the date of conviction, some childrens’ ban has expired before they even reach the legal driving age.

Churchill points out that many underage drivers are therefore not being put off by the current punishments, with 923 children – some as young as 12 – having been prosecuted more than once for driving offences.

Steve Barrett, head of Car Insurance at Churchill Insurance, said: “While the volumes of offences concerning underage and under the influence drivers are low, the impact on the victims and their families involved in accidents with these drivers is immeasurable.

“Highlighting these statistics will hopefully act as a catalyst for the government and educators to address this issue as a matter of urgency.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson declined to comment on the matter of underage driving specifically, but told the Daily Telegraph: “It is our intention to start a consultation on sentencing proposals before the end of the calendar year. This would include driving offences.”

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