No Full Driving Licence Until 19?
Government Considers Tough Rules To Restrict New Drivers
The Government is considering preventing motorists holding a full licence prior to nineteen, the BBC has reported. This proposal – that comes via a Transport Research Laboratory report - could soon form part of a radical set of new rules. If implemented, drivers would continue to learn from seventeen but not take the practical test before eighteen. As things stand, learners can sit the practical whenever they feel ready (subject to having passed the theory exam). Furthermore, within the learning period motorists would have to accumulate one-hundred and twenty hours of supervised tuition, including twenty in the dark. There is currently no minimum time commitment. After passing the test, they would be “on probation” for twelve months during which their cars would wear “p” plates. Within this time, motorists aged less than thirty would not be allowed to have passengers under thirty or drive without supervision between 10PM and 5AM. New drivers – irrespective of age – would also face a lower drink-drive limit than experienced motorists, night restrictions, and be banned from using a hands-free phone. They would then satisfy various landmarks to remove the restrictions.
New Driver Accident Rates
The Government is considering these proposals as inexperienced drivers – particularly youngsters – account for an alarming number of incidents. In fact, the Transport Research Laboratory report claimed that nearly twenty-five percent of accidents that led to death or serious injury last year involved drivers under twenty-four. Furthermore, a Government spokesman has revealed that whereas youngsters only account for approximately five percent of the country's total mileage, they are involved with twenty percent of serious accidents. The report also suggested that a graduated licence system – of which similar schemes operate in Canada and The United States of America - could cut the number of people killed or injured by nearly four-thousand five-hundred per-year. Brake – a road safety charity – added that a night time curfew has cut serious accidents involving youngsters by fifty-nine percent in Washington U.S.A. But such proposals have their critics. The AA President Edmund King therefore argued that: “this report could be seen as just recommending taking novice drivers off the road by regulation and restriction rather than helping them develop the right attitudes and skills”. Furthermore, these limitations could make it harder for motorists – particularly those that live in the country - to find work and travel to college. We watch with interest.