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New rules for learner driversBack

A recent report suggests that young people would benefit from spending a year learning to drive along with the legal driving age being reduced to 16 and a half.

The report carried out by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) believes that this would be a better method of gaining a driving licence and reveals that the way young people are taught to drive in the UK is definitely in need of some revision.

The ABI’s report entitled ‘Improving the Safety of Young Drivers’, stresses the need to reduce the high amount of casualties which are commonly found among young drivers which would in turn lower their car insurance costs. Other ways to lower insurance premiums is to spend time researching the best cars for new drivers.

Statistics from the report revealed that an eighteen year old driver is currently three times more likely to be involved in a car accident than a forty-eight year old driver. The report also found that 27 per cent of motor personal injury claims over £500,000 involved crashes in the 17-24 year old age bracket.

The changes which have been proposed by the ABI are a direct result of studies which have recently been performed on other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States. All three of these countries have tried to improve road safety for young drivers by lowering the age at which young people can start to drive as well as restricting the number of passengers that can be carried in a car being driven by a new driver.

Although currently in the UK there have been measures taken to help new drivers on the roads such as the introduction of P Plates which can be displayed on a new driver’s car to illustrate they have recently passed their test, not many young people are using them. This might be due to the fact that young people are conscious they will be laughed at for displaying the plates, or worse still some drivers appear to believe that wearing the plates can actually be more dangerous.

Otto Thoresen, ABI’s Director General, said: “Radical action is needed to reduce the tragic waste of young lives on our roads, especially among the 17-24 age group. A car is potentially a lethal weapon, and we must do more to help young drivers better deal with the dangers of driving. Improving the safety of young drivers will also mean that they will face lower motor insurance costs.

“We have all side-stepped this issue for too long. Northern Ireland is introducing reforms, and politicians in Westminster should follow their lead in introducing meaningful reform to help today’s young drivers become tomorrow’s safer motorists.”

Other suggestions in the ABI’s report included restrictions on night time driving, lowering the alcohol limit and a ban on taking an intensive driving course as the sole means of learning to drive.


Posted by Leana Kell on 09/10/2012