posted 4 years ago

Government Backs Away From Young Driver Safety Plan

New Drivers Not To Be Restricted

A Government plan to improve road safety by restricting the movements of young motorists has been put on hold, BBC Newsbeat has reported. Proposals under consideration – that could have been implemented based on the findings of a Transport Research Laboratory report - included issuing newly qualified youngsters with a probationary licence, rather than the full. This could have prevented them using the roads between (say) 10PM and 5AM unless accompanied by somebody aged thirty or higher. During the probationary period motorists might have sported “p” plates to indicate a lack of experience. This, of course, would have warned fellow road users to expect the unexpected. Furthermore, new drivers could have been subject to a lower drink-drive limit, been banned from using hands-free mobiles and required to have motorway lessons. As things stand, learners are not allowed on motorways even if accompanied by an instructor with dual controls. It was also suggested that learners should have a compulsory one-hundred and twenty hours tuition before the test, including twenty hours in darkness. There is currently no minimum. Such proposals were considered as young drivers account for a disproportionate number of road casualties – and they might have addressed this issue. On this basis, the Institute of Advanced Motorists safety charity claimed it is 'disappointed' and the authorities have 'copped out'.

Proposals Might Have Caused Problems For Young Drivers

The Government backed away from the rules changes as they could have caused problems for youngsters – a large proportion of which drive responsibly and legally. The main concern is that they could have restricted employment opportunities. Consider, for example, youngsters that work in pubs/clubs/factories at unsocial hours. The 10PM to 5AM curfew could have forced them out of these industries if public transport is not available. This is a particular concern in rural areas. Furthermore, there is little merit in having laws that cannot be enforced. Would the police really stop every car that has a young looking driver and ask for proof of age? On this basis, a Department for Transport spokesman said: 'The safety of young people on our roads is very important to us - too many young people die, too often. We are wrestling with how to make things safer, while not unduly restricting the freedom of our young people. We want young people to be able to get to work and training, to education and to leisure activities and we want them to do so safely. We are finding this a difficult balance, with passionate voices on both sides'.


Why not make it so newly qualified drivers can only drive up to a 1200 engine sized car for say, 2yrs. It is possible but the government always wants to complicate issues...idiots

I agree, too often we have solutions that punish everyone.

The UK Government seems to be adopting a lets wait and see attitude towards black box insurance, they seem happy to let providers test the waters to see the general public’s reaction before they commit to any action for fear that they will be seen as enforcing some big brother technology on unsuspecting drivers. Indeed in a recent report The proposals come from the Transport Research Laboratory which it claims is “creating the future of transport”. The report recommends that that the DfT: Take a reasonably neutral approach to black box insurance Discourage insurance companies from introducing black box technology unless there are substantial cost savings for young people. But to: “emphasise the opportunity for black box insurance to make the learning to drive process interactive and personalised – using mobile apps.” The report suggests that the risk to the DfT of supporting Black Box Insurance are that it could create negative government perceptions. Could be seen as supporting Insurance companies Could be viewed as encouraging “big brother” surveillance Issues arising with new technology could create negative impact What is this Luddite approach to new technology all about? When is the Government going to take control of the situation, regulate and promote the introduction of this live saving technology?

Who would enforce these rules as their isn't enough police. Not much of a deterrent if there is so little chance of getting caught.

Yes difficult to police but something needs to be done. My son purchased his MG ZR at 18.On 2 occasions he got reasonable quotes for insurance due to mistakes by insurance companies and he managed to hold them to the quotes because they had been recorded. He picked up 6 points for speeding on his provisional license which DO NOT carry over to a full license (most bizarre).He then damaged the car when taking evasive action on a country lane (demolishing a fence). He then took his eyes off the road and had a low impact crash....looking at girls when the car in stopped front .For some reason the young driver he hit did not pursue a claim. My son paid £1700 for repairs to his own vehicle and did not report the accident. To balance this out he did avoid a head on crash which was not his fault when I was a passenger. I had no time to shout but his actions were instant and he avoided a driver who had overtaken an articulated lorry and was headed straight at us.He was actually driving a Mini One at the time and had to sling the Mini left and immediately right to squeeze through a tiny gap.Made me realise why B of B pilots were so young !!! Also well done MINI !!

Limiting engine size or horsepower would surely be the answer for younger drivers just like motorbikes for 2years after passing there test and fair. As for uninsured drivers put 3 rd party insurance and tax on the price of petrol then every car bike or lorry would be covered. Fully comp would then be an owners choice just like private medical care is an option we all have.

I passed my test 3 weeks after my 17th birthday in 1971 as I needed my licence urgently for my job and had my first accident at 32 and that was due to a drunk driver coming out of a red light. I had another at 48 under exactly the same circumstances. No amount of training would have helped me avoid these. Both drivers were in their 50's and were disqualified. Both said I and the police officers were drunk but could not explain why the breath tests of myself and the police offers gave a nil reading.

120 hours training? Sounds like an idea thought up by a driving instructor. Limit the engine size/ power output? Small engines are surprisingly nimble these days and 45m.p.h. is not fast until you try it at an unsuitable time and place. Black box? Big brother. A possible answer. Why don't we have clearly marked cars with people inside trained to enforce the rules of the road. We could call them traffic Police. If only there were such people on our road then all the crazies (young and old) might be encouraged to behave.

As a professional Class one HGV driver for the last 30 years and having seen bad _ no unbelievable driving from all ages of drivers , in my humble opinion the worst drivers are those that have an interest in everything else bar what's going on around them on the road in other words they have no interest in driving whatsoever . It should be drummed into people from a very early age that driving is a very serious occupation with big repercussions if a mistake is made . The teaching of driving and the test should be more thorough with at least a week spent on Hgv vehicle training and awareness for all driver new or old .

"compulsory one-hundred and twenty hours tuition before the test" This will cost a fortune and discourage a number of people from taking driving lessons at all. If the proposals are not realistic, then it will create more problms than we have now. Perhaps make the passplus compulsary with a certain time period.

I do not know how the "P" plate works in UK but here in N Ireland we have the "R" plate which restricts new drivers to a 45mph max for 1year. My son has just passed his test and is delighted with his 1000cc car, limited by the cost of insurance!! However I am inclined to think that limiting the engine size would be useful additional safety idea for new drivers, young or old.

There will never be a simple solution to a complicated situation but the government could restrict the engine size to under 1000cc and a maximum of 40bhp for a period of time,this in turn would slow youngsters down.Unfortunately it will not stop bad habits forming.I also wonder whether a black box in the vehicle would be an effective tool,only time will tell.

There will always be bad young drivers and bad older drivers.I have seen as many accidents caused by elderly as I have youngsters

Make all young drivers have a black box in the car so insurance companies can track how the car is being driven and if the info received could be perceived as the driver being irresponsible contact the authorities with the info they have taken from the black box. A friendly chat from the authorities about the info they have received may make some young drivers take that extra bit of care.

The proposed new rules would be unworkable much like the middle lane hoggers and tailgating. I would increase the points penalties for young drivers and adopt the Australian system of reversion to a new test for those who break the new driver rules. You see horrendous driving on our roads from all ages but the penalties just don't seem hard enough and they keep offending. Just watch Barely Legal Drivers on Wednesday night TV - most should be banned and made to resit their tests.

Everyone learns at a different rate so minimum hours was quite a ridiculous proposal, no doubt pushed by the driving schools! The biggest risk to young drivers is alcohol, bravado and a lack of imagination of what a crash can do. Perhaps zero alcohol limit, P plate and max speed might be a sensible idea to reduce accidents, but combine this with affordable insurance.

Why do they not make it like the motorbikes and only allow limited power till they have experience

In Australia they have had "P" plates for many years. Each new driver regardless of age has to put one on the car they are driving. There is a zero alcohol limit, 80kmph limit on all roads except of course where a lower limit applies. Any infringement and its back to the start and retake your driving test. All new drivers know the rules and nobody is inconvenienced and fewer young people are killed or injured although the number still remains unacceptable.

Anyone else been watching the BBC program Barely Legal Drivers? It scares the hell out of me, not just because these youngsters are out there, but because of the serious threat they pose to themselves and other road users. I just hope the BBC selects the very worst examples for this program, and it is not indicative of Britain's young drivers as a whole.

The Government should engage with the insurance companies and the Institute of advanced motorists on the matter of young drivers. Currently the insurance industry quite right imposes huge risk on all new drivers resulting in astronomical initial premiums. If a series of voluntary progressively structured advanced driver training courses were introduced which gave young drivers New Driver Preimum discounts for each of the modules passed then this would of a real positive incentive. Such training could include, Advanced observation and defensive driving skills, Wet weather driving, motorway driving, Twilight and darkness skills, etc etc etc. Culminating in something close to an advanced young drivers certificate this could have real positive benefits. In this senario everyone wins - The driver, other road users and the insurers! Furthermore this could spurn a whole new service industry of advanced young driver training and testing.

Has anyone asked young drivers what they think?

All new drivers should undertake a compulsory minimum driving time which includes darkness training. I think once a licence is issued a seperate module should be completed for motorway. Furthermore, I believe that every 10 years every driver should complete a half day practical 'top up' training to identify some actions for improvement. I have driven 10+ years and could do with a top up as a result of bad habits creeping in!