Wakefield driving instructor ‘suprised’ that city’s learner drivers are among the most dangerous

Dangerous: More than 700 learner drivers in Wakefield have penalty points on their licence, placing the district fifth in Britain for dangerous learner drivers.
Dangerous: More than 700 learner drivers in Wakefield have penalty points on their licence, placing the district fifth in Britain for dangerous learner drivers.

A driving instructor has said he is “surprised” by a new report claiming that learner drivers in Wakefield are among the most dangerous in Britain.

Analysis of DVLA data by Hippo Leasing shows that 741 learner drivers in the Wakefield postcode area have penalty points on their licence - 1.12 per cent of the area’s 66,416 learner drivers.

Mark Jepson, chair of Wakefield Driving Instructors' Association.

Mark Jepson, chair of Wakefield Driving Instructors' Association.

This places the area fifth in Britain for penalty points on provisional licences, behind only Peterborough, Nottingham, Northampton and Bristol.

But Mark Jepson, chair of Wakefield Driving Instructors’ Association, said: “I’ve been doing this job for 13 years and I haven’t had any learner that has had points on their licence.

“I was quite surprised, it was news to me. I honestly can’t put my finger on why Wakefield would be fifth on the list.”

Like those with a full licence, learners can accrue points for offences including speeding, jumping red lights or using their phone. Any points gathered on a provisional licence pass to a learner’s full licence when they pass their driving test.

Any driver who gets six or more points in their first two years of driving automatically loses their licence.

Across Britain, more than 8.1 million people hold provisional licences. On average, 0.81 per cent of these hold penalty points.

Mark advised all learner drivers to be aware of the law.

He said: “There will probably be some people that as learner drivers may not be aware of what they are required to do.

“I’d advise any learner driver to make sure that their vehicle is legal and roadworthy. As the driver, even a learner driver, it is your responsibility to make sure that the car you are driving is legal.

“Make sure that the vehicle is insured for that driver and has the correct tax and MOT certificate. It comes down to tyres as well. Each tyre is three points. They should have somebody supervising who passed their test at least three years ago, and is 21 or over.

“We’ve got to bear in mind that there will be a small criminal element too, people who are not going to be bothered, regardless of if they’ve got a licence or not.”