District is the worst in the UK for banned drivers, DVLA figures reveal (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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District is the worst in the UK for banned drivers, DVLA figures reveal
Bradford officially has the worst drivers in the country.
The district has a higher proportion of people banned from getting behind the wheel than anywhere else.
The new figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, have led a city MP to pledge to take up the issue at a forthcoming summit meeting looking at driver behaviour.
According to DVLA statistics, the district tops the list of shame for numbers of disqualified drivers compared to the number of people who hold a licence.
The city has 1,084 people who have been banned from driving, from a driver population of 166,171.
That gives a disqualification rate of 0.65 per cent, which is almost four times the rate for Cheltenham – the country’s best performer with 0.17 per cent of its driver population banned from the roads.
Bradford is substantially ahead of the second worst city, Birmingham, which scores at 0.58 per cent and is the only Yorkshire location to appear in the top ten.
In January, two Bradford men were banned for driving for ten years and jailed after they caused the death of a young mum and earlier this month a driver who injured a taxi driver was disqualified for four years.
Bradford East Liberal Democrat MP David Ward has been working for several years on problems surrounding driver behaviour in Bradford, including uninsured drivers and the cost of getting cover.
He said: “The good news is that clearly police are on top of this and are taking action. We are concerned that we are at the top of the league and it is bad news for the image of the area.
“We have worked very closely with police on the issue of uninsured drivers and maybe the two are connected.
“We see the whole area of behaviour of drivers as being a real issue in Bradford. We have a summit in June when we will be reporting back on all the work we have been doing on these issues. This issue needs to be part of it,” he said.
Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for highways, Councillor Val Slater, said the local authority was trying to work with pupils in secondary schools to educate them about road safety before they started driving.
“Some people might say they are not surprised by this and that all you have to do is drive through Bradford to see bad behaviour.
“One of our priorities is looking at road safety and we try to catch young drivers, doing stuff in secondary schools before people learn to drive,” she said.
The spokesman for road safety charity Brake, James McLoughlin, said: “It’s a real concern that so many drivers are flouting the rules of the road. With five people killed and 63 seriously injured on our country’s roads every day, there is never an excuse to break traffic laws.
“A driving licence is not a right, and those who choose to break the law should be prepared to face losing their licence. We continue to support the police in enforcing the law, and we urge all drivers to behave responsibly and legally. If you do that, you’ll stay safe, and keep your licence.”
Some offences, like drink-driving, bring an automatic driving ban while other motorists can be disqualified for totting up points from lesser offences such as speeding.
The figures were compiled by a company called Contract Hire A Car, using information from DVLA records. The only other Yorkshire community to feature on the lists was York, which appears as sixth in the list of locations with the fewest banned drivers.
West Yorkshire Police declined to comment.