THE number of Wigan motorists banned from driving has risen by a staggering 550 per cent in just three years.
Shocking new figures released by DVLA, under Freedom of Information rules, reveal that year-on-year the number of motorists who have been excluded soared from 67 in 2010, to 436 in 2013.
The numbers are on target to match that total with 102 already losing their licences in the first quarter of 2014.
The data shows that there are currently 857 motorists who have had their licence taken away from them by magistrates. Male drivers aged 25 to 34 are the most frequent offenders, with a total of 221 having their licences rescinded, closely followed by 195 men in the 35 to 44-year-old category.
Similarly, there are more women disqualified in those age groups, with 35 aged between 45 and 54, and 33 in the 35 to 44 year-old bracket.
A total of 732 men currently have their licences revoked, compared with 125 women.
Road safety campaigners say the figures are ‘disturbing’ while police chiefs have put the rise down to tougher policing.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “It is disturbing to see a rise in the number of drivers being disqualified. But we cannot tell from these figures whether this is due to an increase in bad driving or whether this is due to an increase in police enforcement or the courts taking a stricter approach (which would be good) or a combination of both.”
But Greater Manchester Police said it was actively pursuing dangerous and careless drivers, aiming to tackle the problem. Chief Inspector Mark Dexter said: “We regularly target motorists who we know are causing danger and are fully supportive of the powers used by courts to deny them access to our roads. Irresponsible driving is dangerous for all road users and while there are still people being killed and injured on our roads, we will continue to pro-actively target careless drivers.” Motorists can be disqualified if they are either convicted of a driving offence or get 12 or more penalty points (endorsements) within three years. The court will decide how long the disqualification will last, based on how serious they think the offence is. If someone has 12 or more penalty points, they could be disqualified for:
Six months if they get 12 penalty points or more within three years
12 months if they get a second disqualification within three years
Two years if they receive a third disqualification
If a person is disqualified for 56 days or more they must apply for a new licence before driving again.
They may also have to retake their driving test.