And what’s even more alarming is that almost half only receive a fine of £150 or less
According to new figures released by the Ministry of Justice, 6,592 disqualified motorists were caught driving on the roads in 2015 across England and Wales. This equates to 18 banned drivers being caught every day behind the wheel of a vehicle!
Churchill Car Insurance, who are responsible for releasing the information, revealed that between 2005 and 2015, the total number of drivers who’ve faced prosecution for driving whilst disqualified is a staggering 150,115.
Over the 10-year period, the total amount of fines for those caught for driving whilst disqualified was £3,152,225. However, a shocking 44% of fines handed out in 2015 were for a measly £150 or less – alarming considering the danger they are placing law-abiding motorists and the public in by continuing to drive whilst disqualified.
In the UK, if you get caught watching television without owning a TV licence, you risk being fined £1,000, so it’s unbelievable that someone caught driving whilst disqualified, putting other road users and the public in danger, can be given a fine for £850 less! Even those found guilty of fly-tipping are handed fines of anywhere up to £400 and the Department for Communities and Local Government are introducing new £150 litter fines.
The insurance providers also discovered that the figure for those given an immediate custodial sentence for driving whilst banned was unjustifiably low. From the 6,592 motorists caught and prosecuted in 2015 for driving whilst disqualified, just 1,754 (27%) were handed an instant custodial sentence.
Between 2005 and 2015, an astonishing 3,911 children aged 17 or under were caught and charged for being behind the wheel of a car whilst serving a ban – for some, they had two disqualifications already before reaching the legal driving age! In 2015, 87 disqualified drivers, who were prosecuted successfully, were aged 17 or under.
Head of car insurance at Churchill, Steve Barrett, said the official figures disclosed by the Ministry of Justice were both “frightening and shocking,” adding that penalties for those caught driving whilst disqualified should be much tougher and a far stronger deterrent to ensure the safety of the public and other road users.
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