Government report suggests raising legal driving test age
19 July 2007

A report published by the House of Commons transport committee suggests that learner drivers should not be able to sit their test until they are 18.Though learners would still be allowed to start lessons at 17, a minimum number of lessons would have to be completed over a period of a year or more.The committee has also made a point of highlighting issues with drink driving in young drivers. It is recommended that for the first twelve months of licensed driving it should be illegal for the driver to have consumed any alcohol before driving a car.Even more severe is the suggested curfew that would prohibit a new driver from carrying passengers aged 10-20 between 11pm and 5am for the first year after passing their test. Motorway driving has also been criticised, with the House of Lords admitting that the government should consider including motorway driving in the test.Many of the suggested legislation changes come after poor road death figures in 2006. Over 1000 under 25 year olds died last year, accounting for a third of the deaths on the roads, or 50 per cent of deaths that occurred on the roads after dark.Though some of the proposals make sense, questioning how to police them makes just as many seem implausible. And even the committee that put the report together admits that the legislation might encourage young people to drive illegally.

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