New figures show high number of driver disqualifications in the North East

New figures show high number of driver disqualifications in the North East

New statistics released by the DVLA have revealed some worrying facts about the quality of driving in the North East of England, according to North East-based newspaper The Chronicle.

Driver disqualification ratios

Road safety experts have been concerned to find that more than 5,000 drivers in the North East have been disqualified from driving, with Sunderland and Middlesbrough ranking as two of the worst places for driving disqualifications in the region.

In Sunderland in particular there is one disqualified driver for every 141 licenses held in the city, the highest ratio of disqualified drivers in any of North East’s  heavily-populated cities. Other north eastern towns such as Newcastle, Peterlee, Hebburn and Jarrow also had a relatively high ratio of disqualified drivers.

The Chronicle does explain that some areas in the North East don’t experience the same issue with disqualified drivers, with Hexham and Whitley Bay having the lowest ratios of disqualified drivers within the NE postcode area.

Road safety improvements

The figures have come to light recently following a rise in the number of court cases relating to driving bans. Back in 2013, Road Safety GB North East conducted a study that showed that more than 2,600 pedestrians were killed or injured in crashes across the North East, with 731 of those being in Newcastle. This led to a safety campaign being launched to improve road safety.

Alan Kennedy, of Road Safety GB, told The Chronicle: “It is disappointing to see such a high number of disqualifications, despite the huge efforts being made at local, regional and national levels to make drivers safer.

Chief Insp John Heckels of Northumbria Police motor patrols said: “We’re committed to making sure our roads are safer for all road users and take proactive action against those who cause the most harm by driving dangerously and inconsiderately.

“Drivers who are convicted of a driving offence or have 12 or more penalty points on their licence will receive a summons to court where they will be disqualified – the court will decide on how long the ban will last depending on the offence.”

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