Source: Intelligent Instructor
Graduated driver licencing being considered
The government looks again at intervention
Graduate driver licencing is again on the government agenda.
New drivers under the age of 25 could face a ban from carrying young passengers in their vehicle.
The government is considering the plans.
Transport minister Richard Holden will be assessing the plan with road safety campaigners at a meeting on May 16.
Road safety charity Brake says young drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash if they are driving with others. Peer pressure leads to young motorists showing off and taking dangerous risks behind the wheel according to the charity.
But any new restrictions would require amendments to the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act. This would ban passengers under the age of 25 in drivers’ first year or six months.
The Act already bans drivers if they get six points in their first two years of driving.
This potential move has a number of road safety specialists, including Support for Victims of Road Crashes. They are an advisory to the Department of Transport and, along with the National Police Chief’s Council Roads Policing lead Jo Shiner, would like to see the move take place swiftly.
The government has previously dismissed moves for Graduated Licencing. Restrictions including curfews and limits on passengers in the car, were ditched in January 2022. It reasoned that young drivers needed to use cars for employment, as well as travelling to further and higher education providers.
Road safety reality
A quarter of new drivers crash in their first two years on the road. Government’s own official statistics evidence this.
In a statement to The Times, the Department for Transport (DfT) said: “Every death or serious injury on our roads is a tragedy and we continue to work tirelessly to improve road safety for all users.
“Our approach to improving safety for new and novice drivers is through new technology and improving education, while reinforcing vital road safety messages through our Think! campaign.”
Driver training not enough
Seb Goldin, CEO of RED Driver Training, says new drivers are ken to show off their skills and independence to their peer group. He describes it as “a driving situation which is very common when a young driver first passes their test”. This, he adds, displays “a significant risk and one we cannot ignore”.
“We know that people of all ages rely on the freedom that driving provides,” continues Golding. “Graduated Driving Licencing risks placing restrictions on this.
“In countries where Graduated Driving Licencing is in effect, it is being received well and, in an environment where incidents on our roads are commonplace, taking steps to reduce the risks of death and serious injuries is a protocol we support. Road safety remains our ultimate concern, and this probationary period for drivers who are more likely to be involved in an incident allows us to prioritise this even further. ”