Joyriding is illegal in most places around the world and the UK is no exception. Driving a car without the owner’s permission is illegal and if caught you could face a fine, a prison sentence and even a driving ban. Proper insurance is needed when driving someone else’s car and a valid licence is needed too. Most joy riders are between the age of 17-25 but could have started joyriding from as young as 13. A quarter of cars that have been involved in joyriding have never been recovered; the same goes for valuables.
Consequences of joyriding
Fine – if caught joyriding you could be faced with a fine of up to £5,000
Prison sentence – the maximum prison sentence when caught joyriding is 6 months behind bars but a sentence of up to 14 years could be handed if a death had been caused by joyriding
Driving ban – as most joy riders don’t have a licence they could be permanently disqualified from driving
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)
ANPR is able to recognise a stolen vehicle through scanning of the licence plate - in order for this to work the vehicle needs to be reported stolen to the police. The police will then add the licence plate number to the Police National Computer. In some cases stolen vehicles taken for a joyride are spontaneous so they aren’t well prepared. Planned joy riders may have a false licence plate number attached to the stolen car. In this case the ANPR system will take longer to recognise that this is a false licence plate.
Many people who have been caught joyriding always have the same excuses with the most common being they were under the influence of drugs and alcohol, peer pressure and for an adrenaline rush. A lot of younger youths who joyride are sometimes persuaded or offered respect for participating but when it all goes wrong their so called friends abandon them leaving them to take the blame for it all.
Joyriders don’t seem to understand how this silly game of theirs affects everyone; it costs the country £1bn a year dealing with such cases. Police waste time on these cases when they should be looking for murders and more serious offenders. Accidents are more likely for an unlicensed driver so insurance companies will have to pay out and people who are hurt due to joyriding use up NHS resources like doctors and nurses.
If you know or suspect someone of being an inconsiderate joy rider please report them today and save a life.