posted 5 years ago

IAM: Young Driver Conviction Rate Shows Need For Better Tuition

Young Drivers Accumulating Penalty Points

The Institute of Advanced Motorists has claimed that the number of youngsters with penalty points proves that teaching methods fail “to produce safe and law abiding motorists”. As such, thirty thousand eight hundred and fifty men aged twenty or under have up to six points from offences such as speeding/careless driving. This includes three hundred and fifty eight that are only seventeen. Less than ten thousand women, in contrast, aged twenty or under have up to six points. Furthermore, in 2012 youngsters were involved with one-fifth of collisions where someone was killed or seriously injured - even though they accounted for only eight percent of licence holders. Also, on average youngsters only travelled about half the mileage of their more experienced counterparts.

Road Safety Expert Discusses Young Drivers

The Institute of Advanced Motorists Chief Executive, Simon Best, said: “Such high numbers committing a wide range of offences demonstrates the inability of our current system to deal with the attitudes and lack of experience which put new drivers at such high risk on the roads today.” The road safety expert continued: “The government is currently working on a Green Paper for young drivers and this must better address the content and process of learning to drive so that our roads are safer for all road users.”

What Can Be Done To Make Young Drivers Safer?

Youngsters are vulnerable on the road for two reasons: inexperience and – in certain cases - an irresponsible attitude. Let us consider the former. Risk can be minimised by exposing learners to as many situations as practical while accompanied by an instructor. At the moment, for example, learner drivers are not allowed on motorways even while accompanied by an tutor and travelling in marked vehicles that have dual controls. This means that motorists can pass the test then within moments – and without having received any practical motorway tuition – head for the M25 in rush hour in unmarked cars. Furthermore, learners are not necessarily taught to cope with weather related hazards such as over-steer and aquaplaning that cause countless accidents. So, perhaps skid pan tuition should be compulsory. And that brings us to attitude. Some youngsters believe they are invulnerable and have little appreciation that their actions have consequences. Now, older motorists can bang this message home all day but teenagers tend to listen more to their peers than their parents who they consider “nags”. So, perhaps they should attend classes that include contributions from fellow youngsters that learnt the hard way.


Reading other comments one thing springs to mind. The Police and or councils should stop bragging about stopping x amount of motorists and fining them, this just says they are money making. If people are continuously speeding or doing something wrong on a particular piece of road then they should accept that there is a problem and deal with it by changing the road and or junction to stop it. And not keep on ripping motorists off. I know this is slightly off topic but have seen things in other comments.

NO NO NO NO NO! Not better tuition,individual responsibility. Just because a test has been passed it does NOT mean you are a perfect driver. We all make mistakes but some people see to think traffic laws apply to other people. I have been driving in 30mph areas and have had people steam up behind me, tryng to intimidate me to go faster (NOT going to happen), been tailgated and only yesterday nearly collided with some idiot who decide to ignore the convention of driving clockwise around a roundabout and simply turned right (unfortunately I was so stunned I did not get there registration). When are the police going to ... well police? Liiting engine size Does seem a good idea or introduce smart cars which can not be driven in excess of posted limits.

Speeding brings in lots of revenue for the people who provide courses. The two directors (who are husband & wife) makes about £2 million every year. How can you justify that when top ranking police get about 10% of this figure?

Driving in this country is poor i hve hgv liecnce to,refresher courses should be considered rather than driver cpc,in class room also in my area police hve targets to meet which does nt make road safer jst make money for police,

I am both a former police driver and a victim of a serious road accident which happened to me as a cyclist when I was only 13. The biggest single cause of road accidents generally is inexperience, and this is especially so for young drivers. A motor car is a fully loaded lethal weapon and today, they are much more powerful than they were 20 years ago, never mind 50 years ago, but the rules haven't changed - pass your test and you're free to race off at speeds never driven at before. Driving is not something that can be done whilst talking, especially on the phone, whether hands free or not, thinking about other things, looking at the scenery, internet or texting, or any of the other various activities I have seen drivers performing, including shaving, reading and applying make-up [all these on a motorway]. Safe driving requires 100% attention and a moment's lapse of concentration can, literally, be fatal. We could help by, 1)raising the minimum driving age; 2)imposing a cc limit on the car driven until 12-24 months experience had been gained [the technology is available; 3)as a society, lose the love affair with the motor car and adopt a more responsible attitude to it and particularly towards those who do not respect this lethal weapon and other road users. In other words, very much stricter penalties for those who treat our roads like an edition of Top Gear.

I took my test in the services some 40 yrs ago and have been a HGV driver for the last 38 yrs at that time we used the Morris 1000 on the unit i was at we has the Austin 1800 5 speed box i wasnt allowed to drive it for 6 months it was deemed too powerful for us. Also my initial driving tuition took place off the road, when i could handle the vehicle then we were allowed on the road, this included the skid pan a night drive and motorway drive which all had to be passed. One thing i remember was that my instructor never allowed me to get in a position where i shouldnt be, having been driving all these years the one thing i notice is learner vehicles in a position in the road where the instructor should never let them get. I also find lack of indicators a big thing. Maybe the instructional techniques need looking at, the roads have certainly changed lot in my time and even today i dont know everything learning never stops.

I'm a driving instructor and have been for 13 years. In response to a comment regarding driving instructors only interested in getting pupils through the test!! I have found that a lot of pressure is being put on instructors by people's estimate of how many lessons it should take in order for an individual to pass the test. This will vary depending on experience etc, however a big percentage of pupils and parents believe it should take no more than 8 to 10 lessons!? I can only speak for myself as an independent instructor, I teach people to drive and cover as many situations that is possible, the test is is only something that you need to take to show you have the ability and the safety awareness to be safe on the road, then you can develop experience over time. I also agree that learner drivers should be allowed to drive on motorways and drive at the speed limits without being restricted, this should only take place with a qualified instructor. We need to change the mind set of all those starting to learn to drive are have a son or daughter learning to drive. This is a life time skill not a race to do the test in as little lessons as possible. It is in everyone's interest to ensure all new drivers have the skills to develop there experience on the roads and be safe while doing so. Let's take away the peer pressure of pupils passing the test in as few lessons as possible, this comes from mates and parents!! I feel under pressure at times by pupils and parents wanting the test ASAP however, I would not risk safety of all road users over passing a driving test, even if the pupil decides to leave me because they think they should be ready and I don't. Let's have more accountability for instructors, ie progress reports and sign a test ready document stating pupils training is complete in all aspects required for applying for test. In the current environment cheap lessons appear to be better than quality, which in turn brings down standards. Charging a fair price for a quality instructor is what parents and pupils should be looking for not cheap!! Instructors test results and performance should be able to be accessed by pupils and parents, then they can make an educated judgement to which instructor they should choose.

I think that all learner drivers should be made to go out on the back of a motorcycle to see just how vulnerable they are and just how bad the state of driving in this country is... Young drivers have no idea of the dangers they pose to other road users and pedestrians.. they will probably survive when they knock a cyclist, biker or person walking. I am a car driver as well as a cyclist and Biker, and EVERY TIME I go out on two wheels I am put in danger some idiot in a car or van. I also think a re-test every five years should ne mandatory.

I believe the driving test is to easy, all the instructors are interested in is getting you through the test, I passed my test in 1967 it was the same then, after I got my pass my instructor told me I now had to learn to drive it's the same today, they just want the next pupil, there are thousand's of kids out there literally dying to get behind the wheel of there death machine either there's or another persons they don't really care, the driving age has got to rise or the test gets tougher or we will carry on burying our young with a steering wheel in there hands, you could put a speed governor on small cars for people who have less than 5 years driving and extra test for motorway driving that might help but don't hold your breath, the test itself could be made a lot more expensive and longer a good 3 hours driving would show up defects in any one, new drivers should be made to show a P plate for at least a year and then made to take another test to show what they have learnt, if driving has not improved then license lost, fines should be a lot heavier and if they can not pay then loose the car, does all of this seem a bit hard, then think on, if you loose a son or daughter either through there own bad driving or some one else's, what would you feel like, most youngster's can cause the death of a person walk away get in another car and do it all again, drink driving, drug driving, driving while on the phone/ eating they can handle it no probs, you might think Im joking but I have seen it as most people have, I just hope to what ever god there might be that I am not around when they have there smash and that they do not take any one else with them.

You may find that many years of 'playing ' so called games on your xbox etc where no matter what you do you are invincible and can never be hurt and of course killed or any others either. What do we expect when we allow our children from a young age to have this inserted regularly into their very open minds and not actually believe it..... Why should they not have at least some of this idiotic belief installed in them when they can 'drive ' through a lamppost,completely anialate a section of roadworks and crash into a barrier writing the vehicle off and seconds later be perfectly ok and continue as if nothing has happened! I guess the reason nothing is ever done about this is because of the vast revenue it brings in to companies and hence government funds through all manner of taxes etc! This is not a new comment as many have voiced it previously the trouble is nobody seems to think that it has any consequence on what your article has just covered!

I taught my children as teenagers 20 years ago. I impressed on them that driving was like a loaded gun and the closest they would get to death before 60. The chances of dying from lightning 1 in a million per year and driving I in 10000s. We put up with ridiculous levels of risk on the road and youngsters pay. Lower speed limits by 15 mph and add two 0s to all motoring fines.

I absolutely agree with Trevor Parrot. Having passed my motorcycle test in 1964, my car test in 1965, I passed my IAM car test in 1988. Within the last 3 years, I have gone back to riding a motorcycle but for pleasure. Now that my two under 20 year old sons have a full motorcycle licence each, more than ever I am convinced that proof of having ridden a motorcycle should be a pre-requisite of taking the car test. A political lead balloon it may be but it would remove the inherent invincible attitude that prevails in many car drivers of ALL ages. A motorcycle teaches roadcraft and pain if it goes wrong!. Therefore, at the very least, a current CBT should be produced before taking the car test. Because of insurance costs, young drivers are limited to small cars most of which are front wheel drive. I often come across small front wheel drive cars in the most precarious attitudes, often spinning like a top on its roof! The reason for this is that small front wheel drive cars are inherently unstable if the driver attempts to decelerate in anything put a straight ahead direction. It is a simple effect of the laws of physics! Driving instructors used to say: "Once a Mini driver, always a Mini driver!" My advice is do not buy a small front wheel drive car for anybody without the understanding of the physical laws of directional force. Something to think about on a winter’s evening! Happy New Year!

the problem is that young drivers are only being shown how to pass their driving test the number that can't reverse is increasing. until the Government introduce measures that increase the time scale to say 100 hrs of driving with an instructor and if they have an accident in the first 2 yrs start again from scratch.

Motoring has become far too expensive for young people and hence corners are being cut in the tuition process. Also the number of motoring laws and regulations which a new driver has to know is bewildering, compared with 40+ years ago. Despite claims that drivers ought to be limited to cars only capable of low speeds and acceleration, insurance penalties ensure that almost all young drivers must stick to small and low-powered vehicles. Besides cars even 1000cc and below are now capable of 100+mph and 0-60 in less than 12secs, 40 years ago these would be described as being sports models.

As an ADI of 25 years, one of the common problems is pupils and especially their parents wanting everything on the cheap- as few lessons as possible before the test - not interested in learning to drive, just wanting to pass ASAP. Quite happy to spend £20,000 on uni fees, but as little as possible on something as potentially dangerous as driving a motor vehicle.

They should have cars only up to 1000cc for the first 3 years then resit another test to prove there able to drive that car safely. If they cant they stay on 1000cc. If they pass they then move up to 1400cc for a further 3 years and another test. By this time the driver would be about 25 years of age, and if all goes well they would get a full licence. I also would like older drivers that every ten years they take another test to prove there driving skills then if needed they might need further help with there driving if it is very bad remove there licence.

All new drivers should have to under go CBT as motorcyclist do. Before they reach the roads ,also riding motorcycles would help them understand road conditions better and they can hurt,the conditions that is!!

It's not the schools, but the examiners who pass them fit. But having said that, I followed a learner northbound through the junction of A307 (Petersham Road) and Sandy Lane, which is a mini-roundabout, in my company "car" which is 8'2.5" (2.5m) wide and 39'7" (12m) long [aka a coach]. The learner approached the roundabout ready (as ascertained by her road position) to obey the law advised by Rule 188 in the Highway Code. However, by observations through the rear window of the car, the driving instructor seemed to be telling her to commit an infringement of the law and drive straight across the marked roundabout (the observations being hand gestures indicating a direct round across and not around the marked roundabout); this she then did, and proceeded to fail to observe Rule 186 in failing to give me an indication of which of the three possible exits from the roundabout she was taking (had she failed to observe other road traffic that might benefit from her signals [my coach is 13'2" (4m) high, so unless she is not being taught to use her mirrors properly she should have known I was following her, especially as I follow the advice given to motorcyclists in rule 86 to drive with dipped headlights to make themselves, and myself, more conspicuous - the number of motorists who fail to see me in my coach makes me very worried for motorcyclists]?). I then drove around the marked roundabout without touching, or going over any of, it with any of the 8 wheels on my tri-axle coach, along with having time to indicate between the front of my coach passing the first exit and leaving at the second.

Bill White - my reply was re article and restricting speed by other persons. Trucks still crash at 56mph and I would not consider that speeding, it's driving to conditions and attitude. Passengers distracting the driver or showing off to them is attitude, do-nuts and handbrake turns in car parks is attitude and nothing to do with passengers or speed. Re forklifts and my other credentials shows my ability & skill to operate and pass tests on most machinery (including dangerous complicated items)of which are capable of lifting heavy items which are capable of crushing and slicing off legs loaded with heavy steel, yet I have still explained my past behavior and accidents. You can take away as much as you like or restrict as much as you like but if a person wants to not behave responsibly then they aren't going to - no test will change that.

Young newly qualified drivers need to be restricted in speed up to the age of 25. Speed limiters need to be fitted to their cars. Too many young drivers like to show off in front of their mates and this can often lead to disaster. A speed limiter would help in controlling this. This technology is available at the moment and should be used.

Reduce the number of points allowed to 6 in the first three years. If this is exceeded then the licence is cancelled and a retest ordered. bring in "P" plates where no passengers apart from qualified drivers can be carried, who would also have to carry the points if the driver is caught offending.

All I can say is I passed my test in 1971 25 days after my 17th birthday and did not go to a driving school. The test was about 30 minutes. In all the time I have been driving 2 of my cars have been written off. The 2 third party drivers both middle aged were well over the drink drive limit and came through red traffic lights. I don't know how better training would have helped me in these situations. The one thing I cant understand is both drivers said I was drunk when my alcohol reading showed nil. The police officers who attended the accidents were supposed to be drunk. Tests were done and their alcohol readings were nil.

NO, it just means that examiners are passing them too easily. An examiner i knew would not pass anyone if he thought for a minute that they would injury themselves or anyone else. Even though they may have done everything correct on the exam.

the punishment for speeding and careless driving should be a lot stricter. for example offenders need to get 12 points before they MIGHT lose there licence these points could be acquired over a few years so giving some one 3 points and a piddling fine is not much of a deterent. taking away a the licence say after only 6 points and bigger fines should help. As for some instructors the one that tailgated me at 60mph on the A444 and the one that does 40+ in a 30 limit heaven help the pupils.

re Tim Stubbs 'all wrong'. What is wrong about stopping a newly qualified driver from inflicting their reckless behaviour on their passengers? Young men in particular tend to drive more aggressively when they have their peers in the car with them. Many studies have been carried out on this subject hence the restrictions in other parts of the world on carrying passengers for a period after passing the test. With regard to an OHV 1.2 Astra getting to 100 mph I would add that a lawn mower suitably geared would also, it would just take longer. Restricting the ability to out accelerate others is surely the issue. As far as driving credentials goes I don't see fork lift driving as particularly useful in this debate. I would agree that a persons psychological bent would influence their behaviour. Testing for that though would be rather difficult.

The boxes insurance companies fit to keep costs down should be compulsory. They monitor speed, acceleration and braking. If the driver is driving recklessly it would all be on record. If this is consistently the case then a ban could be imposed and attend a drivers awareness course to make them think about their actions Maybe the inconvenience of having to go back to using public transport would teach them tto be more carefulland considerate

As an ex driving examiner, you can come up with all the good ideas you like, but until the Driving Standards Agency raises the appalling low standard of the current driving test, things will not change. Every examiner worth his/her salt issues pass certificates daily to candidates who scrape through on an "easy route" or a "quiet time of day". DSA are more concerned with stats than road safety.

You are all wrong, I had many accidents due to driving like an idiot. I had personal reasons which caused me not to care and drive like a careless ar 5e. I did most of this in an astra 1.2 ohv which is still capable of doing 100mph. I passed all tests first time and my sheet bar three minors was the best the chief examiner had experienced. I could drive forklifts and move vehicles with trailers. The problem is there is no test for the attitude a person has to driving afterwards which is the main reasons for crashes. In the ideal world a snapshot of a persons morals & behavior would also be included. However in current climate of stress and financial difficulty there are less courteous persons around and increased road rage and aggressive driving. Vehicles can used to vent stress and anger by speeding, cutting people up etc while shouting and brake checks. I'm a biker, car driver and work in commercial insurance with fleets & Motor Trade. I had many clients in 2013 admitting road rage in claims or motoring convictions which in 13 years is a first and had not seen before. I now have more respect for others and myself but upbringing and life experience has a massive impact on attitude to driving a potential Weapon.

Further to my previous missive the green 'P' plate should be compulsory for say 12 months.

Newly qualified young drivers should not be permitted to carry passengers for at least 12 months. There is an inbuilt capacity to show off in most drivers and so accidents would be reduced by the aforementioned restriction. I believe something similar operates in Australia. The power to weight ratio should also be limited, not just the engine size. A small car with a turbo charged 1.2 litre engine would be quicker off the mark than a normally aspirated 2 litre engine in a bigger car.

Its the attitude of drivers young and old, you can tell, teach, drum it in to anyone, about the dangers, but if they don't listen, or follow the training, then what else can you do, except pump more money in to jobs and people that go on about road safety, its pathetic really, people will drive how they feel like, no amount of money, will stop some one putting there foot to the floor, screeching round corners, showing off to there friends, there is no way to make drivers drive safer, as there is no way to make the world safer from movements wasting money on bombs, and war, we live in a world of greed and power, and people just don't listen, and don't care, youngsters will do as they please, no matter what the older experienced drivers, or government say, the will learn, but the majority will learn the hard way, the minority will listen, and that is the way it it, the tuition works as the drivers pass there tests, they know how to drive, they may not have the experience, but does it matter to them, they have passed there test, they have a car, yayyy lets get out and drive, its exciting, and that is life, but no doubt millions will be wasted in trying to change what cant be changed, its human nature that needs changing first.

Newly-qulified drivers should be restricted to smaller cars - maybe a maximum of 1.1 or 1.2 litre, for the first 2 years of driving. That means they have a car that is within their capabilities, it'll be easier to handle, it won't accelerate at a ridiculous rate, it'll be a little slower than a higher performance which will give them time to learn how to drive - the pre-test lessons just get you through the test, they don't necessarily give you the confidence to be a good driver; a low-power car will allow you to build that confidence. Also - experienced drivers should be a whole lot more patient, both with newer drivers and with motoring in general; too much rush, not enough concentration and - worst of all - too little courtesy other road users. Does anyone give way correctly at roundabouts any more, or do we all just dive in and let everyone else know we are in the right?