The government is considering new proposals to raise the minimum driving age and impose restrictions on newly qualified drivers.
Under these new proposals being discussed learner drivers could have to wait a year longer so the minimum age before taking your driving test could rise to 18 years old. From 18 years old a 12 month probation period could be introduced once a full driving licence has been obtained and a ‘P’ plate would have to be displayed during this period. Once the probationary period has expired the restrictions would be lifted and the driving licence would be upgraded to a full driving licence without restrictions. For those aged 17 years old a 12 month learning period would be introduced where by all drivers would have to have a minimum of 100 hours daytime and 20 hours of night time tuition.
The proposals also under consideration would include a curfew for all drivers less than 30 years old driving between 22:00 and 05:00 in which they would not be allowed to carry passengers aged less than 30 years old. Other proposals being discussed are reducing the alcohol limit and imposing a ban on the use of mobile phones and hands free devices. The government is also looking at plans to improve and assess the way in which people learn to drive.
Young Drivers Involved in fatal Incidents
These proposals are being discussed in a bid to reduce accidents and serious injuries. Figures show that young drivers (those aged between 17-24 years old) drive around 5% of all miles on British roads but account for nearly 20% of all accidents involving deaths or seriously injury. In 2011 over a fifth of all deaths on British roads were caused by drivers aged 17-24. The total number of deaths on the roads in 2011 was 1901; of this figure 412 were incidents involving drivers aged 17-24. Of the 412 incidents 148 involved the death of the driver, 93 involved the death of a passenger, and 171 involved the death of other road users.
As you can see these figures for incidents involving young drivers are hugely disproportionate to the number of drivers on the road today and campaigners have been actively trying to introduce new laws and raise awareness for many years now. Whilst a number of 17-24 years will feel aggrieved these proposals are being discussed and government does need to do something to reduce the number of incidents and deaths as not only is this an unnecessary loss of life but also it costs over £224m a year.