Whilst writing my previous post, it occurred to me that we have a language problem.
The phrase used to report the matter of a court disallowing someone to drive following a driving offence is usually “a driving ban”. I think this is fundamentally flawed.
You can be banned from entering certain premises. You can be banned from keeping pets. You can be banned from leaving the country. Broadly speaking, you can be banned from things which you have a (statutory or de facto) right to do.
Driving a motor vehicle is not such a thing. In order to drive, one must pass a test and obtain a licence. The license represents permission that is explicitly required. To drive is not a right, it is an earned privilege.
By saying that we are “banning someone from driving“, we imply that we are curtailing their rights. And by doing that we imply that driving is a right.
To disallow someone to drive is not to ban them. It is to disqualify them or, more accurately, to revoke their licence.
This is more than just semantics. This phrasing is every bit as culturally significant as the similarly pernicious phrase “road tax”; arguably much more so.
It’s time we stopped talking of bans, and started talking of revocation.