New drivers face driving restrictions as Government pitches graduated licences
The Prime Minister has called for the Department for Transport to look into introducing graduated driving licences (GDL) for young drivers, to combat high accident rates among 17-24 year-olds.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, MP for Darlington Jenny Chapman asked the Prime Minister what could be done to lower the proportion of young drivers involved in an accident within the first two years of getting behind the wheel.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I will certainly look at the request she [Chapman] has made, and I will ask the Department for Transport to look at this as an issue. As she says, there are too many people who suffer loss and tragedy at the hands of learner drivers in these circumstances.”
Currently, one in four young drivers are involved in an accident within two years of passing their tests, with 400 deaths or serious injuries annually involving young drivers.
A graduated driving licence designed for young drivers is already in place in various countries, with restrictions on the number of passengers carried, driving at night and being accompanied by a more experienced driver among the conditions in certain countries.
Drivers’ group IAM Roadsmart has previously released a series of suggestions for making young drivers safer, including incorporating theory and hazard perception into the national curriculum, including high-speed roads on driving test routes, a lower drink/drive alcohol threshold and a 12-month minimum learning period.
IAM’s policy and research director, Neil Greig said: “Too many young drivers pass the practical test unprepared for the road, so any GDL scheme must focus on building experience in all traffic conditions.
“GDL shouldn’t stop at the practical test and IAM RoadSmart supports post-test check-ups to embed learning and help new drivers negotiate our stressful roads.”
Autocar is awaiting response from the Department for Transport on when and how this legislation would be introduced. A Department for Transport spokesman said it would respond 'in due course'.