Nearly 1,000 new drivers a month had their licence revoked last year, according to data from the DVLA.
The figures, which showed an average of 33 new drivers a day lost their licences in 2018, have prompted calls for the rapid introduction of a graduated driver licensing (GDL) system.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said that the data showed drivers were being let out on the roads without all the necessary skills and urged “swift and decisive action” to improve driver training.
Under the New Drivers Act, motorists who get six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test have their licence revoked. If they wish to drive again, they are required to re-apply and pay for a new provisional licence and pass both theory and practical parts of the test again.
Drivers with more than two years’ experience can rack up as many as 12 points before facing the prospect of losing their licence, with some managing to accumulate far more than than and keep driving.
Young drivers’ problem
The Freedom of Information request by Brake showed that of the 11,953 motorists who lost their licences under New Drivers Act nearly two thirds (62 per cent) were aged between 17 and 24.
This age group represents just seven per cent of licence holders but accounts for almost one in five deaths or serious injuries on the roads.
Brake says that the findings prove that more needs to be done to ensure young drivers are safe on the roads.
It wants to see a minimum 12-month learning period introduced as part of a GDL system, followed by an initial test and two-year “novice” period. Under this, new motorists would be allowed to drive independently but with some restrictions, such as a late-night curfew.
The Government announced in July that as part of its two-year Road Safety Action Plan it would examine the issue of graduated licensing. It said it would consider restrictions such as minimum learning periods, nighttime curfews and limits or bans on carrying passengers under a certain age.
Joshua Harris said: “It’s shocking that so many new drivers are racking up enough penalty points to have their licences revoked so soon after passing their test, in particular those in the 17-24 age bracket.
“It clearly demonstrates that we need to make our licensing system more robust so that when a driver passes their test, they have all the necessary tools and knowledge to drive safely on all roads and in all conditions. Fortunately, there is a proven solution which can deliver this, graduated driver licensing.
“The Government’s announcement that they will explore the issue of GDL further is welcome. Swift and decisive action must, however, be taken to introduce GDL across the UK, as a priority to ensure new drivers have the skills and experience they need and to end the tragedy of young people dying on our roads.”