First time drivers may have to wait until they are 18 before being allowed to take their driving test. This is under new proposals being considered by the Government. The move is thought to help cut the number of fatal accidents and injuries that happen on UK roads each year.
Figures show that more than a fifth of deaths back in 2011 involved younger drivers. These were aged from 17 to 24. Around 10% of new drivers were caught committing an offence within the probationary period. The Government had commissioned the study alongside the Transport Research Laboratory. However the results strongly suggests that learner drivers will still be given their provisional licence at 17.
Proposals include completing a 12-month learner level that would require drivers to clock up about 100 hours daytime and 20 hours of night-time driving under supervision.
For the first year guidelines would ask newly qualified drivers to adhere to a curfew running from between 10pm and 5am. This is unless they happen to be driving with a passenger aged over 30. The full list of rules and regulations have yet to be fully sorted out. But these bold new moves could have a big impact on how UK learners are taught to drive.
A Department for Transport spokesperson quoted: “Young drivers drive are said to drive around 5% of all the miles driven in Britain. They are also involved in about 20% of the crashes where someone is killed or badly injured…We are committed to improving safety for all young drivers and reducing their currently very high insurance costs. That is why we are publishing a Green Paper later in the year setting out our new proposals.”
Putting restrictions on new drivers especially the younger ones could be a way to help them develop those safer driving skills from the beginning of their driving carers. These skills could really mean the difference between life and death in certain road collisions. Raising the age to take the driving test as well as bringing in a number of other measures could mean a reduction in fatalities that’s anything up to 60%!