Thousands of “selfish” motorists are “brazenly” ignoring driving bans, figures reveal, with one caught out 20 times in four years.
More than 37,500 people have been convicted of getting behind the wheel while disqualified in the same period, with over 8,000 being repeat offenders.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency issued the statistics after a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association.
A senior police officer said those who “brazenly ignore” disqualifications should run the risk of lifetime driving bans.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Cox, national lead for fatal road crashes at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, described their actions as “selfish” and potentially fatal.
He added: “The public understandably expects these serious offences to be recognised as such when habitual disqualified drivers are brought to justice.
“Via deterrence we can reduce danger on our roads and ultimately save lives.”
Five-year-old boy among tragic victims
At least two men have been jailed this month for causing fatal incidents when driving while banned.
Liam Slade, of Newport, South Wales, killed two women on the M4 near Bristol in July after being filmed driving above 100mph.
The 33-year-old was disqualified at the time due to drink-driving and was jailed for 19 years and eight months.
Image: Liam Slade. Pic: Avon and Somerset Police Like Slade, Darren Jacques was banned for drink-driving when he was involved in the death of a boy in Newcastle.
The five-year-old climbed onto a trailer being towed by a van being driven by Jacques, and fell off and was crushed.
Jacques, 42, has since been jailed for six years.
Image: Darren Jacques AA president Edmund King has called for an increase in traffic police numbers to target such offenders, and “increase the perception they are more likely to be caught”.
A decline in the number of officers over the past decade “needs to be reversed to keep our roads safe”, he added.