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New drivers, should the laws change?Back

NewDriverLast night I watched a documentary on young drivers and the serious, often fatal accidents that can be caused by drivers who are not experienced enough on the roads to be able to understand that they are in fact behind the wheel of a potentially deadly machine.

We are all aware of the statistics, aged 17-25 year old male drivers are the group of people most likely to be involved in a serious car accident, yet there seems to be little being done to improve this statistic.

The documentary highlighted the need for young drivers to carry out more extensive training before they are able to drive freely on Britain’s roads. Recent measures which have been suggested by the Government but which have not yet been put into place include new drivers not being allowed to carry passengers in their cars for a set amount of months following their test.

The RAC has also recently conducted a new study on younger driver safety which provides an insight into motorist’s attitudes to both young and older drivers. This comes ahead of the Government publishing a consultation on the issue.

As part of the new RAC study, British Car Auctions (BCA) has provided an insight this week from UK motorists about what they think the minimum age of drivers should be. Over one third of those polled by the BCA said they felt that the minimum age should be increased.

Forty per cent of respondents felt that the minimum age of drivers should be raised to 21 years old as they believed that raising the age limit would reduce traffic accidents. Despite this result, there were still 58 per cent of respondents who felt that the minimum age of drivers should not be increased.

Raising the age limit of new drivers is certainly one measure that would help to improve the amount of car accidents on the roads caused by inexperienced drivers, but one other way which we could improve the statistics is to take a look at the existing training which is being offered to learner drivers and look at ways to improve this. Perhaps it should become a legal requirement for new drivers to take the advanced driving course? Or new drivers could be restricted to a car with a smaller engine size?

Introducing a more extensive and rigorous testing scheme would certainly help drivers be more prepared on the roads, and following the test, measures could also be put in place to monitor new drivers for a set period of time. It goes without saying that new drivers should wear the standard green P plates for at least one year rather than it being an option that many new drivers ignore.

These are my views, but what are yours?

Posted by Leana Kell on 19/07/2013