THEY ARE usually to be seen nervously approaching roundabouts or struggling to pull away from junctions but according to new research, 54,000 learner drivers have been reckless enough to earn penalty points on their provisional licence.
The figure, released by the DVLA in response to a freedom of information request by Confused.com, an insurance comparison website, does not detail what the learner drivers did to earn their black marks.
However, the same website surveyed qualified motorists who had received penalty points while learning to drive and found that the majority (60%) got them for speeding. Jumping a red light was their next infringement, followed by driving without insurance and driving carelessly.
A lack of car control is one plausible excuse but the researchers also found that nearly a third of learners who earned penalty points were unaware they could get them before passing their test.
Meanwhile, a third believed their co-driver or instructor should be held responsible for their poor driving, with one in 10 arguing they should have taken the points on their behalf.
Gemma Stanbury, head of car insurance at Confused.com, said: “Picking up bad habits such as speeding or jumping lights before passing your driving test is never a good way to start. These points could contribute to their licence being revoked if they accumulate six points within the first two years of driving.”