Terrible truth about

kids at the wheel

Young driver

SOMETIMES kids get behind the wheel.

It is not new, because I am sure that many, like myself were allowed to ‘have a go' at driving on private land in our mid-teens.

But it seems to be escalating to worrying proportions, after a revelation from Churchill Car Insurance.

The company recently released information which showed at least one child a week was prosecuted for dangerous driving in 2015with at least 66 minors convicted.

Children under the age of 17, despite not legally old enough even to apply for their driving licence have also been successfully prosecuted for drink and drug driving.

In 2015, at least 12 children were convicted of driving or attempting to drive with an alcohol level over the limit.

And four were prosecuted for driving or attempting to drive and failing to supply a specimen for analysis.

One child under the age of 17 was prosecuted and convicted having been found with drugs in their system.

This offence has only been in force since March 2015 and makes it an offence to drive or attempt to drive with a drug level above a specified limit. Seventeen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine.

The grim reality of children getting behind the wheel illegally is reinforced by the conviction of a minor in 2015 for causing death by dangerous driving.

In the past three years, minors have also been convicted of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving and causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers' offences.

Churchill's analysis also reveals that hundreds of children under the age of 17 are committing multiple driving offences.

Almost 1,000 under age drivers have been prosecuted more than once for driving offences, with children as young as 12 convicted multiple times.

One child aged 16 has already been prosecuted 15 times for driving offences.

Even if minors drive cars illegally on the road they may still be able to secure a driving licence when they turn 17, much like any other young driver.

Bans for those underage often start from the date of conviction and could actually have expired by the time the offender reaches 17, though endorsements will still be listed on any licence issued.

In the wider view of things these figures may seem low but the fact that a child gets behind the wheel at all on the public highway, meaning no insurance and potential disaster on wheels is a matter that needs urgent attention.

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