Bradford has been named as the area with the highest percentage of banned drivers to those that get behind the wheel, according to official figures released following a Freedom of Information request. The city has a disqualification rate of 0.65, compared to the 0.17 in Cheltenham, which is shown to have the lowest number of disqualified drivers as a percentage of those that are legally allowed behind the wheel of a car.
Drivers can be banned for virtually any type of offence. Even speeding can lead to an instant disqualification, although it is more likely that a speeding driver will be disqualified under a totting up ban, meaning that they have amassed a total of 12 points or more in a period of three years. It is also possible to be disqualified for dangerous or reckless driving, while driving without insurance and being found guilty of a number of other driving offences can also carry a similar penalty.
A Freedom of Information Act request has given details of the number of banned drivers given as a ratio compared to the number of those with licences issued. The figures show that Bradford has a driver population of 166,171, and 1,084 people have been banded from driving. This means that there is a disqualification rate of 0.65, which is considerably higher than anywhere else in the country.
The second worst figures were found in Birmingham. The city had a disqualification rate of 0.58 while, at the other end of the scale, Cheltenham had the best figures, with a rate of just 0.17% of its driver population having been given a ban. Bradford has gained something of a reputation for bad driving, with multiple instances of drivers losing their licence even in the past year.
Cities featured prominently in the list of the worst places for banned drivers, while more rural areas like Cheltenham are those that tend to perform more favourably. Bradford East Liberal Democrat MP David Ward has said that the police are taking action, but that many people would say you only have to drive through Bradford to experience the problems first hand.