Manchester now second worst for banned drivers in UK as Birmingham knock us off shameful top spot

By David Keane

Manchester has the second worst rate of disqualified drivers in the country after a slight improvement moved them off the embarrassing top spot.

Since MM exclusively revealed in June that the city had the worst rate, the percentage of disqualified drivers has fallen by 0.1% which means Birmingham now has the highest rate of banned drivers in the UK.

However experts believe that Manchester drivers may not be as bad as the new research from suggests, as the policing of motorists in the city is much tighter than other places in the country.

Sean Corker, from the Alliance of British Drivers, said: “It is likely that Manchester drivers aren’t necessarily the worst or second worst, but that local police authorities are very good at catching people when they are being irresponsible.

“To reduce disqualifications drivers should be patient and tolerant on the road. It is also important that you don’t get wound up by other peoples bad driving which can often cause you to drive in a less safe way.”

Compared to one year ago the number of disqualified drivers in Manchester has fallen from 3,044 to 2,537 at rate of 0.49% per capita.

Mr Corker believes that rates would decrease further if drivers were incentivised to take further driving lessons.

“Rather than continually punish people for driving there should be an incentive for motorists to partake in further education to improve their driving ability,” he added.

“For the past 15 years authorities have just been increasing punishments and nothing has been done to improve people driving.”

Stats discovered in a freedom of information request showed that Manchester still has a higher percentage per capita than the UK average.

Government laws on driving have become stricter in the past 15 years but the amount of disqualified drivers has remained stubbornly similar. 

Mr Corker believes that receiving a ban for going 32mph in 30mph zone four times in five years could be seen as a harsh way to lose your licence.

Jamie Stand, a driving instructor from Manchester, claimed that the city’s motorists are becoming more reckless because of their attitude towards driving.

The 33-year-old said: “Most people think they are good drivers but the majority really are not.

“Careless driving has become a habit for most people and this increases the risk of accidents on the roads.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “The most effective ways of reducing accidents are to provide a safe environment and to reduce speeds because that will make accidents less likely and less severe if they do happen.

“Every individual person has a responsibility to prevent road accidents by the way they drive, ride or walk on the roads.”

Inspector John Armfield of Greater Manchester Police explained how the Traffic Network Section have made it their priority to make the roads of Greater Manchester safer.

“Through Operation Dice we have been targeting dangerous road users to bring down the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads,” he said.

“We know that speeding, using a mobile phone, not wearing a seatbelt or drink driving can have devastating consequences for all road users, and although our advice may seem simple, there are many motorists who choose not to follow it.

“In doing so they are putting their lives and those of others at risk, and we will always take robust action against them, which may result in disqualification.”

Picture courtesy of West Midlands Police via Flickr, with thanks.

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