Planned graduated licence scheme would reduce crash rates through post-test restrictions
Felix Page Autocar writer
18 July 2019

A new graduated licence system in the UK could ban new drivers from the road at night as the Government seeks to improve road safety. 

The system, which the Department for Transport (DfT) says is being considered by ministers, would impose more stringent restrictions upon newly qualified drivers in an effort to reduce the number of crashes on Britain’s roads. 

Figures suggest that one in five drivers have a crash within a year of passing their driving test. The DfT claims a ban on driving at night (when conditions are more challenging), as well as a statutory minimum learning period and a passenger age limit, could help to reduce this figure. 

It remains unclear how long after passing one's test the restrictions would be in place. Current legislation means new drivers are automatically banned after accumulating six points in their first two years on the road, as opposed to the usual 12 points. 

Similar schemes are already in place in parts of the US, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. In California, for example, learner drivers must undergo 10 hours of night-time training and be accompanied by a guardian no younger than 25 until completion of the first of three mandated ‘steps’. 

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy for the RAC, backed the proposals, saying: “Young drivers sadly are overrepresented in road traffic collisions so we welcome plans to improve their safety. Graduated driver licensing has the benefit of providing a more controlled environment when learning how to drive.” 

Despite offering support to the plans, Lyes suggested any new law must not inhibit young people’s job prospects, arguing that it “must be balanced so it does not disadvantage young drivers who need to use vehicles for night work”.

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The proposed scheme forms part of the DfT’s road safety action plan, which will be published in full later this week. 

Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis said: “We want to explore in greater detail how graduated driver licensing, or aspects of it, can help new drivers to stay safe and reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.” 

The most significant recent change to the driver qualification process came in 2017, when students’ ability to operate and follow a sat-nav became a central part of the driving test. 

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Comments
10

18 July 2019

In winter here we get 5 hours of daylight.   That means a driver would be late to start work and early to leave!   That is absolutely wrong.

 

I also had to have a car because I lived in the country when I was younger.   There was no public transport.   In those cases you need a car because there is no alternatives!

 

Please come up with some better ideas.   A little bit of joined-up thinking required!

18 July 2019
Symanski wrote:

In winter here we get 5 hours of daylight.   That means a driver would be late to start work and early to leave!   That is absolutely wrong.

 

I also had to have a car because I lived in the country when I was younger.   There was no public transport.   In those cases you need a car because there is no alternatives!

 

Please come up with some better ideas.   A little bit of joined-up thinking required!

 

Totally agree! When I was in my first job, the car journey took 20 mins, but the public transport would have taken 2 hours. I think there should be mandatory lessons for various situations, like night driving, or on motorways, as well as driving in bad weather.

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18 July 2019

Unenforceable, Pointless just moves night driving issue to later in age of driver 

you need experience and the reason they have accidents at night is inexperience

Better to put a compulsory eye test cert with your MOT to be honest

18 July 2019

 So, this is discrimination then?, not all new drivers are teenagers, have the Police got the resources to stop every suspect?, is this a waste of Police time?, no, this would be a costly and unenforceable Law.

Peter Cavellini.

18 July 2019

IF the data shows a prepondernce of under 25 accidents (where the young driver is at fault) happen at night then I'd be prepared to accept this suggestion. However, if the data is not there, or doesn;t support this action, the HM Govt. should look elsewhere.

18 July 2019

not workable.  It would need to account for seasonal variations or clearly define the fixed start/end of 'night-time', and setting that at 9pm when its dark in December at 5pm won't help.

It's also not remotely enforceable, neither is the passenger age suggestion.

Requiring a minimum number of hours driving with a qualified instructor which should include N hours of night driving would seem more sensible and actually prepare them for the situation.

Of course, the most common issue behind incidents is over-confidence too quickly; not knowing how to 'read' the traffic and road ahead, and trying to drive aging hatchbacks like sports cars; not understanding their limits.  We all know it, cause most of us went through that phase ourselves.

 

 

18 July 2019

What a daft idea, how are people supposed to work, so many jobs involve shifts, I am a shift worker and can't use public transport as it doesn't exist for my work start and finish times so how would an under 25 be expected to get to work? More training makes sense but at what cost? It's already almost prohibitively expensive for new drivers what with lessons, tests and ludicrously expensive insurance. Not all young drivers are irresponsible at the wheel yet they all get punished by the insurance companies alike, this would be more of the same, punish the many because of the few.

18 July 2019

Sadly the people that make these laws all live in urban areas and work 9 to 5 jobs. So clearly not driving at night is fine. Why would a young Scottish farm labourer possibly need to drive in the dark winter. They can just get the tube right?

 

 

 

18 July 2019

Last time i tried to post links on here the comment never got posted... so "using your favourite search engine"... search for "uk vehicle crash statistics", look for a result from researchbriefings parliment uk, after having a quick read of that click on "jump to full report" and have a look at that. Specifically the graph showng "Casualty and fatality rates per billion passenger miles by user type: GB 2016". Cars; 262 casualties, 2 fatalities. That changes to 1863 and 35.4 if you decide to be a pedestrian instead. Where's the walking ban? The worst, at 6321 casualties and 104.5 fatalities, is motorcycles, which never appear to get mentioned in any conversation! Congestion problems? Parking problems? Promote bikes? nope!

19 July 2019
It will be fine as they will have plenty of police resources by then to check every single car to make sure there's no new driver behind the wheel at night...

As has been pointed out, not every new driver is a 17 year old "tearaway", and those that are will not on the V5 or main driver on the insurance.

This has not been thought through at all.

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