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Driving age could rise to 18 under new proposalsBack

DrivinglicenceIn a Government commissioned report, new drivers could be made to wait a further year before they are able to obtain a driving licence.

The proposals contained in a study by the Department for Transport sets out further options which include new restrictions for newly qualified drivers such as a ban on night time driving and a ban on carrying peers, both of which are new proposals being considered by the Government.

Transport ministers are currently looking into radical plans which are intended to help cut the number of deaths on the roads and injuries caused by accidents involving newly qualified drivers. The plans could see all novice drivers facing restrictions for the first 12 months after passing their test.

The report which intends to publish a full consultation before the end of this year has been put together partly in response to casualty figures which have shown that in 2012 one fifth of the people killed or seriously injured on the road were involved in an accident where the driver of one of the cars was under the age of 24.

The new proposals drawn up by the TRL, formerly the Government’s transport research laboratory, suggest that not only would young drivers have to wait until the age of 18 before taking their test but they would also be required to log 120 hours of supervised practice which included 20 hours of night time driving.

Furthermore, a newly qualified driver would be on probation for a further year after passing their test which would include carrying a green P plate to make them more easily identifiable to the police. They would also be banned from carrying passengers under the age of 30 or driving between the hours of 10pm and 5am unless there was someone over 30 with them in the car.

The restrictions would apply in full to any newly qualified driver below the age of 30, with some restrictions such as a ban on night-time driving, using a hands free mobile and a lower drink=drive limit being applied to all ages of driver for the first 12 months after passing their test.

“The reasoning behind this is that the evidence shows both youth and inexperience are factors in determining crash risk,” said Dr Shaun Helman, one of the author’s of the report.

According to the research, introducing these curbs would cut casualties by 4,471 – including up to 41 fatalities a year and these type of restrictions known as ‘graduated licensing’ have proved effective in many other parts of the world to include the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

A DfT spokesman said: “Young drivers drive around five per cent of all the miles driven in Britain, but are involved in about 20 per cent of the crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured.

“We are committed to improving safety for young drivers and reducing their insurance costs – that is why we are publishing a Green Paper later in the year setting out our proposals.’’


Posted by Leana Kell on 11/10/2013