MEN are SEVENTEEN times more likely than women to be caught driving while disqualified, according to new research.
The staggering figure has emerged from an investigation into who is breaking the law by continuing to get behind the wheel despite being banned from the road.
While it discovered there has been a year-on-year increase in the number of prosecutions since the start of 2017, the most eye-catching finding was the huge disparity in the number of males charged compared with females.
According to the figures, secured by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to the DVLA by Select Car Leasing, over the three years up to the end of 2019 a total of 33,696 males were prosecuted for the BA10 offence – “driving while disqualified by order of a court”.
That was in stark contrast to the 2,174 females prosecuted during the same time period.
James O’Malley, director of Select Car Leasing, said: “There is a huge difference between the number of men being caught and charged with this very serious offence to the number of women – 17 times as many, in fact.
“Anyone who is disqualified from driving by a court of law should obviously obey the order handed down and it seems tens of thousands of men are not getting the message and simply continuing to get behind the wheel. It is also very worrying to discover that the total number of these prosecutions is rising every year – from 11,560 in 2017 to 12,182 last year.
“It beggars belief that such large numbers of people who are deemed by the law to be unfit for the roads, for whatever reason, are being caught.
“And it is even more worrying when you consider that there will be a large number who are not caught and carry on putting lives at risk.”
The FOI figures showed that Yorkshire and Humber is the UK regional hotspot for driving while disqualified prosecutions, with 4,602 drivers being nabbed by authorities during the 2017-2019 period.
The North West was second in the chart of shame with 4,435 prosecutions, with Greater London third with 4,393.
The West Midlands (3,965), South East England (3,241) and East England (2,612) also ranked highly.
Convictions for a BA10 endorsement can result in community service, curfew orders and even a prison sentence.
Those found guilty will also get six points on their licence, which remain there for four years for the date of the offence.
Driving bans are either handed out for major offences – including driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and dangerous driving – or the accumulation of 12 points.
There are around 85,000 convictions for drink driving each year in England and Wales. Another investigation carried out by Select Car Leasing found that drug driving convictions rose by a staggering 1,200 percent over the last five recorded years.
Some 11,849 motorists were hit with penalty points on their licence for drug offences in 2018, compared to just 945 in 2014. The North West came out top of the drug driving charts over the same period.
A survey, carried out by Select Car Leasing via OnePoll, also found that nearly a quarter of British men (23%) admit to have driven when possibly over the drink driving limit. That’s compared to one in 10 (11%) women.
Male motorists are also more likely to get behind the wheel the morning after drinking when still potentially above the legal booze limit.
Just over a third (34%) revealed they took their chances as opposed to 27 per cent of females.
The 55 and over age group were most likely to drive after drinking too much (21%), while 25 to 34 years olds are the biggest culprits when it comes to driving the morning after while still over the limit.