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More than 1,000 under-17s have been convicted of motoring offences including dangerous driving in past 18 months

Data released by the DVLA under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request reveals that children as young as eight have been caught speeding.

The FOI request was made by the Mail on Sunday, which says that two children aged eight were prosecuted for speeding and another for dangerous driving in the period January 2017 to June 2018.

In all, 1,024 youngsters aged 16 or under – and therefore too young to drive legally – were disqualified from driving during the past 18 months, according to the DVLA.

While they are too young to hold a driving licence, for which the minimum age is 17, any penalty points or other sanction will be applied to any licence they hold in the future.

The figures revealed that across the UK, 242 under-17s had been convicted of dangerous or reckless driving and 178 found guilty of careless driving.

The Association of British Insurers said: “The Association of British Insurers said: ‘Any minor behind the wheel is placing themselves, other road users and pedestrians in danger, as well as breaking the law’.”

RAC spokesman Simon Williams told the Daily Mail: “It’s frightening to think that anyone under the age of 17 has been caught driving on public roads, let alone children as young as eight.

“While these figures make for depressing reading, they might just be the tip of the iceberg,” he added.

The figures revealed that across the UK, 242 under-17s had been convicted of dangerous or reckless driving and 178 found guilty of careless driving.

The Mail on Sunday said that the Home Office had rejected the suggestion that government cuts had led to an increase in illegal driving by children aged 16 or under.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.