These are interesting times right now for learner drivers.
On the one hand, there are groups trying to work out how to try and re-enthuse teenagers about driving again, and on the other there are recommendations to improve safety that will force up the age of getting a license and the cost. Finding the right balance is tough.
The most recent suggestions have resulted in calls for the introduction of a 12-month learner period, and enforcing 120 hours of driver training during that period, including 20 hours of night time driving.
Thereafter, there would be a further probationary year that (under the proposals) would include a night time curfew, carrying a P badge, a ban on any kind of phone use - including hands-free - plus a lower blood alcohol limit than is standard now and a ban on carrying any passengers under 30 if the driver is under 30.
It’s hard to argue against proposals that promote safety, but there has been a noticeable backlash against the cost and restrictions of the legislation.
Arguments against the plans range from the fact the proposals are so punishing they will surely just encourage more illegal driving, through to the fact that employment in rural communities depends on being able to drive.