posted 8 months ago

Driving Licence Changes Could Ban Newbies from the Road at Night

Tough, potential, restrictions for new drivers as the government works to cut the number of youngsters killed in cars

Young driver accident statistics

The government might introduce a graduated licence that imposes restrictions on new, unproven, drivers in a bid to improve safety such as no trips at night, Prime Minister May hinted. This commitment recognises that younger, inexperienced, motorists account for a disproportionate number of collisions. For instance:

  • Drivers aged seventeen to nineteen hold less than two percent of licences, but have nine percent of fatal/serious collisions
  • Drivers aged sixteen to nineteen are one-third more likely to die in a traffic collision than those aged forty to forty-nine
  • One in four drivers aged eighteen to twenty-four have a collision within two years of passing the practical test

The government could impose a wide range of restrictions on new drivers. Inspiration might come via safety charity proposals and precedents set from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and The United States. The potential restrictions for learners include:

  • Minimum period of tuition before taking the practical test theory test or hazard awareness test
  • Minimum period of professional tuition in a dual control car
  • Only supervised by motorists age twenty-five plus that have completed a questionnaire that proves suitability for the role

Once qualified:

  • Have a restricted, novice, licence rather than a full licence
  • Not carry passengers aged less than twenty-five without supervision (unless a parent or carer)
  • Not drive at night without supervision (unless travelling between home and work/college)
  • Lower drink-drive limit
  • Not drive on the motorway without supervision
  • Compulsory tuition on the motorway
  • Compulsory tuition at night
  • Display a sign that confirms novice status
  • Not drive a vehicle that is too powerful
  • Licence revoked for any motoring offence or for failing to follow the terms of the restricted, novice, licence
  • Pass a further test after two years to earn a full licence

Graduated licence discussed in parliament

Labour MP, Jenny Chapman, raised the graduated driving licence issue during Prime Minister’s Questions in February 2018. Mrs May responded: “There are too many people who suffer a loss and tragedy at the hands of learner drivers. We will certainly look at that.”

Safety charity backs graduated licence

Brake is a safety charity that supports the graduated licence. Its Director of Campaigns, Joshua Harris, said: “Ensuring that novice drivers have the skills and experience to drive safely on all types of roads - and in all scenarios - is an urgent priority. Our current licensing system is not fit for purpose”, Harris concluded.