Passing your driving test is a rite of passage for lots of young (and often older) people and you can’t help but feel thrilled when you get hold of your licence.
The independence to go where you want, when you want, is a huge motivator for learning to drive—whether that means popping out for a late-night snack or taking somebody out on a date. Those days might soon be over as the government considers banning young people from driving at night.
Introducing the Graduated Driving Licence
A Graduated Driving Licence (GDL) sets restrictions for new drivers for a fixed period.
In February 2018, former prime minister Theresa May requested an investigation into the effects of a GDL on the high number of crashes involving young motorists.
The GDL is one of 74 actions the Department for Transport (DfT) will consider as part of a new Road Safety Action Plan (published last Friday) to reduce road deaths in the United Kingdom.
In May last year, the DfT decided they would pilot a GDL in Northern Ireland (NI). There, rookie drivers must display ‘R’ (restricted) plates for 12 months, limiting their speed to 45mph. For the rest of the UK, displaying a ‘P’ plate on your vehicle shows you’ve just passed your test. You can leave these on your vehicles for as long as you choose but they’re not required by law.
The planned roll-out of GDLs across NI is throughout 2019 and 2020—although this idea is on hold because of the current absence of government there. The results of the pilot will decide whether the government extends the scheme to England, Scotland and Wales.
At the moment, the only specialised treatment for fledgling motorists is the reality of harsher punishments for breaking the law.
Motorists who get 12 points on their licence face disqualification, but for those who have driven unaccompanied for less than two years, it takes just six points to lose their licence. Inexperienced drivers might soon need supervision during after dark or find themselves with overnight curfews.
The rate of young drivers involved in road traffic collisions (RTC) is disproportionate to other age groups. Various sources show:
- One in five crash within 12 months.
- 25% experience an accident within the first two years.
- 400 young, UK motorists sustain serious or fatal injuries each year from RTCs.
- There were around 1,770 deaths on UK roads in the 12 months to June 2018.
- Young men are four times more likely than women to suffer serious or fatal injuries from an RTC.
- A small 7% of licence holders are between the ages of 17 and 24.
- Drivers aged 16 to 19 are a third more likely to die in a crash than those aged 40 to 49.
- The RAC’s Report on Motoring showed that 35% of motorists say the standard driving test doesn’t cover all the skills needed to cope with modern driving.
The UK has rejected programmes such as these before because of fears it might prevent young people from getting jobs and accessing education, but the government says the pilot will examine the economic and social impact of licence restrictions.
Many road safety and motoring groups support the idea because motorists who have just qualified (lacking experience but often feeling overconfident) are at an increased risk of RTC.
Both the AA and RAC back the scheme which would restrict motorists between six months to two years.
Restrictions for all ages?
Besides restricting driving at night, the government’s plan will also consider a limit on the car engine size, a minimum learning period before taking a test, and a restriction on the number of passengers under a certain age.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research, IAM RoadSmart said:
‘In any graduated driver licencing (GDL) scheme, the key is building experience.
‘Too many young drivers pass the practical test unprepared for the road and this approach would help them survive the high-risk early months on their own.’
The GDL could apply to all inexperienced motorists of any age, although other countries where similar regulations are in place have included only those under 25.
There is already compelling evidence from other countries:
New Zealand, New South Wales and Victoria in Australia, Ontario and British Columbia in Canada, New York and California in the US, and Sweden all use a GDL for drivers under 25.
In New York, they only allow unsupervised driving at night for those commuting to and from work, while in California, the restrictions are between 11 pm to 5 am.
James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the Association of British Insurers, said:
‘The potential for Graduated Driver Licensing to dramatically improve road safety in the UK is indisputable and insurers have long called for its introduction.
‘The main aim must be to reduce deaths and serious injuries but it is also true that a dramatic reduction in accidents would do a lot to alleviate the pressure on insurance premiums for young drivers.
‘This will be even more important given the recent move by Government to set the rate for major compensation payments in a way which is likely to increase motor insurance costs, particularly for those younger motorists.’
There have already been several motoring reforms for UK drivers and last June, it became possible for learner drivers to have motorways lessons. But despite the announcement, it seems doubtful the government will introduce any new licencing system before 2022.
Stay safe after dark
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) reports a spike in the number of road users killed or injured when the clocks go back. While we’re enjoying long evenings, autumn will soon be upon us so, whether you’re a learner, new, or skilled driver, the following tips might be useful:
It’s illegal in the UK to drive at night without functioning lights, so check that your lights work as they should.
Turn on your car’s dipped headlights about an hour before sunset and keep them on an hour after sunrise. This makes sure we’re visible to other road users.
When using full beam, switch to dipped headlights as soon as another vehicle appears, so you don’t dazzle them and turn your gaze away from other lights and oncoming high beams, to avoid being dazzled.
Condensation or dirt on your windows can impair your view of the road and increase the glare from oncoming headlamps, so make sure they’re clear before driving.
Watch your speed even more so when driving after dark because as visibility deteriorates, you must reduce your speed for extra time to respond.
If you’re learning to drive, insist on getting some experience at night. If you’ve just passed, consider taking a Pass Plus course, which includes modules on night-time driving.
What’s your view on the UK having graduated driving licence scheme? Are you in favour? Share your opinion in the comments.
I think a graduated scheme, as for motorbikes, is very sensible, but not the restriction on nighttime driving as a lot of people work late and have a social life. The engine size restriction is a very good idea, as are compulsory motorway and nighttime driving lessons after passing.
I agree totally with what you say regarding night time driving. I work night shifts, also, the night starts earlier in the Autumn – Winter & Spring.
a car is not neccessary for a social life!!
You try telling that to people who live miles from anywhere with no public transport or no taxis willing to travel 20 miles out of town to collect you or take you home
Obvious solution would be to raise the minimum age for driving. Perhaps the less obvious point, though, is that the current standard of driving tuition is not up to the standards required for modern-day driving…
The standard of tuition MUST be okay otherwise there would be no passes. The problem is the lack of a mechanism to monitor continuing standards, i.e. retesting. So many drivers ‘do their own thing’ after passing, and make no effort to improve their personal driving skills. This is proven by the general poor standard of driving shown on our roads.
.The simple way to make improvements is to compel persons with, say, over 9 points on their licences to take a further driving test or forfeit their licence.
This threshold could then be lowered to six points if found to be a deterrent.
Some good ideas
I have long maintained that for most people passing the driving test is akin to passing an exam at school – proving what you know or do on a specific day and then it doesn’t matter for the rest of your life when Henry VIII came to the throne or what is the capital of Albania. A retest after 12 months could at least keep most on the straight and narrow. A few more examiners would be required but the cost to the taxpayer would be covered by the test fee.
Engine size restriction. Great. Compulsory motorway lessons, and part of the test. Super. Restricting driving times for younger drivers. Stupid. I have two daughters, now in their 20s, and both passed their test at 17, but if they had been limited to driving in the day time only, the licence would have been useless, because of work commitments.
The suggestion is that driving to and from work would be allowed.
I still think it’s unnecessarily restrictive. My 21 year old daughter has lessons around work so often early in the morning or in the evening. and the best time I can take her out for practice is also the evening, so having started in the winter sh’e as comfortable driving at night as during the day. It’s an unnecessary restriction anyway that impacts on social life considerably. I haven’t yet seen any statistics that indicate this will make much difference.
So what’s the difference between say you driving to work at night and me just because I fancy going to the late night takeaway or midnight screening at the cinema ….
Not sure an engine capacity ‘cap’ is the way… More a bhp cap, there are 1 litre turbo engines in cars making 150 plus bhp!!! Just being 25 also doesn’t mean you can drive well at night…
In New Zealand it is against the law for any driver under the age of 25 to drive a car with a turbo fitted.
Restrictions if any should apply to all new drivers irrespective of age Chris …. Engine size and BHP also would be more appropriate the say as they do for motorbikes
Yeah, restrictions on cars license, plus two tests, one to allow you a upto 75 hp and another after two years driving, taken in a car of at least 180hp allow you to drive more powerful cars. I must say that car and motorcycle tests should include motorway driving/riding so people know how to use a motorway properly. Not sure about night time bans but only allowing two passengers my be a good thing too.
Great idea,so 2 couples go out ad one of them has to take a bus.
One issue with motorway lessons being mandatory …. There’s no motorways in the highlands of Scotland down in Cornwall or Devon or on an. Island
Peer pressure for driver’s is perhaps an issue, leading to young drivers taking risks as a result of being under pressure from others in the car. Perhaps a limit of one passenger would be appropriate?
Its peer-pressure, your first time being the driver who’s taking his/her mates for a night on the town that’s the highest risk.
By comparison, young eyes shouldn’t have too much difficulty driving at night.
In Oz new drivers are forbidden to drink any alcohol.
Cuts down on “boy racer” peer pressure
This is just stupid. I’m 23, I work regular night shifts. I’ve been driving since 17, passed at 18. Never had an accident, ticket or any other “motoring offence”.
I have over 130,000 miles of driving experience, yet I’m still penalised. Meanwhile, Doris who drives 500 miles a year to marks and sparks, has her insurance costs at £10 a month just because she has 30 years of no claims. B*llocks.
Limited engine size is also B*llocks. You can mod a fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost engine to 200bhp. Per litre that engine has more power than a Bugatti.
Mod a 1 ltr to 200bhp. More power than a bugatti. Really!!!
“per litre” was stated. Why do a total of 4 people not manage to process all the information?
Maybe this is exactly why many accidents happen.
Some people might find it difficult to think and understand what they see or simply to think out of their concrete box.
Maybe there should be stricter control on modifications too. I’m sure if they actually told the insurance companies what modifications had been done they would be priced off the road.
We’ve all had a mad youth, it’s just that cars are now more available and are generally much faster than 20-30 years ago. That and a general lack of care from all drivers makes it such a dangerous combination.
Allow me to say that a stock car can be deadly if driven improperly. And also it can crash into a legal-driven heavily modified car. How does this sounds to you? I own a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 which has around 600bhp for more that 3 years and never had an incident despite I drove it for more than 50.000 miles. And a van. No incidents at all.
Driving more than 200 miles a day, I see many incidents on roads and guess what? 99% of the vehicles involved are stock and most have small engines.
You can drive a Lamborgini or a Corsa without having an incident if you know what you’re doing. But also you can crash both of them.
But I believe that only the lack of care from drivers is the reason for those incidents.
A vast number of drivers are simply outdated. Driving on a A roads with 35-40 mph just because they want to, driving on motorways at dusk/night with 50 mph on 2nd lane with all the lights off just because they can, overtaking or changing direction of driving without using the turning signal lights just because they find it useless or fun, is the main cause of those insurance premium rises and incidents, including Doris. I strongly believe that a driving licence re-test should be imposed for every driver after a number of years of driving and a certain age. And I am very sure that John and Doris, who are over 65 years old and their driving licenses are rusty-dusty, might learn something new or at least they will discover that the driving style has changed over the years. These are just my 2 pence thoughts….
War against the motorist? It’s more like a war against the stupidity that we’ve allowed to take over society and got us to the situation we’re now in. Crippling congestion, toxic air and a disrupted climate producing extreme weather all over the planet.
But of course, it’s the poor motorist who’s being singled out here. Take a look at the big picture.
This is nothing else but ageism (discrimination), young people already pay ridiculous insurance cost and most young people are already priced out because of it. When it comes to experience – there are no difference if 18 years old lax it after 3 months of driving or 60 years old lax it after the same period, but it seems proposal is only for young drivers? How does that make sense except of being blatant discrimination.
Furthermore, this seems to become never ending circle now – previously people would get licences by 17 and would have higher risk to crashes and die until 19. Now people won’t drive until 27 because they will simply going to be prices out, or inconvenienced enough not to bother. So instead of being at risk from 17-19, now we move that age to 27-29.
Secondly, there is nothing dangerous driving at night, unless you bling ( in which vase should drive at all). What is dangerous is broken, overgrown and over congested roads, plenty of obstacles .. cyclist, pedestrians crossing right, left and centre etc. If anything driving during the day is more stressful and dangerous.
Some say – but what about drugs and alcohol? Sure – but that has nothing to do with age nor experience, this is separate issue which needs to be addressed. What government is trying to do here is just find the scape goat to reduce demand for driving instead of actually dealing with capacity, selecting the group which cannot defend itself and discriminate it. Nothing to do with road safety. Disgusting.
It’s not about your age (unless I read this incorrectly). It is about experience.
Experience is key for driver reaction. Us geriatric old folk, who won’t have the fast reactions of a youngster, are more likely to avoid getting into a situation in the first place, than a typical youngster who’s only just got their licence. And, I may add, our reactions are based upon experience.
As for Insurance. This is a major problem. Many insurance companies are taking advantage of younger drivers; milking their disposable income. The government needs to step in and ensure youngsters can buy Insurance at a fair price. However, that will mean the insurance companies setting restrictions on what, when, and how youngsters are allowed to drive. We’ve all seen the idiot who comes tearing around that blind bend in a residential road, then comes to a halt with tyres screaming, blue smoke and hifi blaring. Unfortunately, s/he’s invariably the same person who complains about his extortionate Insurance.
The system already discriminates against motorcyclists, with graduated licenses and compulsory basic training before they are even allowed to take a test. Why not do the same to car drivers? There will always be someone with an argument why it should not apply to them, but that is what legislation is for. If you don’t like the way the government runs the country, vote for something else, don’t just whine about it.
Maybe because m’cyclists are more vulnerable?
The only thing this proves is the driving test isn’t fit for purpose. If we had training as Finland does which teaches young people advanced techniques even from 14 years old and how to drive in inclement weather and even skid control it would massively reduce accidents (as it has done in Finland).
The obvious conclusion is the government doesn’t want that. It has become normal for the government to look like they are doing something rather than do something.
Never forget the UK Corporation is a legal entity trading for profit.
This is a good idea as were u live near Birmingham they often congregate on carpark late at night reving and racing with there boy racers engines all customized up to the 9s.
They need to crack down on noise pollution from extremely loud exhausts.when I was young police pulled us up on occasions for spot checks but now police are too afraid to stop them anymore. Government needs to ban cars like those from the roads I live opposite a park carpark were they often congregate and race and wheel spin into the early hours and guess what police will not and I repeat will not attend any calls we make because there as police say confined to one area. It’s been that bad loosing sleep until 4am that I’ve gone over with an axe and threatened one set of youths being forced to take my own action having to be up again at 6.30am leaving me with 3hrs sleep a night mostly thuesdays Friday and Saturdays and Sundays. Police are a discrase now they only want to go around to areas they feel safer.
U fully endorse the idea but I feel it should remain in place until the driver’s turn 25 were they should be able to understand roads better when a full adult at 25yrs.
But my other issue will we have enough police to actually endorse these great ideas or will they have a tracker d vice until 25yrs old as at least with a tracker you can find out loads from its location,speed,etc.
I say go for it because it’s no good talking about it it’s the doing that counts,action is needed once 25yrs old they should be mature and value the licences they earned at 17. Most of the ones who hang out in catparks are all under 25yrs old and it’s another way to teach them respect there licences.and keeping them to a set engine cc is a good idea too. start in the Midlands first.
Thanks for reading my points of view
A couple of comments about the R plate system in Northern Ireland. Although the main highlight of this article is about young drivers (under 25), it doesn’t make clear the exact nature of the R plate system here. It uses the word ‘rookie’, which is meaningless. The reality is whether you pass your driving test at 17 or 71, then you have to drive with a R plate for one year. Age has nothing to do with it.
Next, it would be interesting to find out if the Department for Transport has ever analysed the benefits (or not) of the R plate system employed in Northern Ireland, because if they did find it beneficial, then why has this not been rolled out across the rest of the UK? And if it doesn’t have any benefits, why do we continue to have it?
Finally, and the reality of how the government work! In May of 2018 they decided to trial this GDL in Northern Ireland, part of the UK that has it’s own government in place… except that the government in Northern Ireland hasn’t been there for two years now (and yet they continue to be paid for their non-attendance). It wasn’t in place when they decided to trial it here, and as such, they couldn’t implement it. So why then did they not trial it in England, Scotland or Wales, as they all have sitting governments in place, and the trials can be implemented?
If anything, this looks like something that will be trialled (permanently) here, and never implemented anywhere else. I’ve also read elsewhere that they’re trying to extend the R plate to two years here.
Can’t edit my original post, so had to do it this way.
I just came across a news article that was published in May 2012 where ‘radical changes to the rules’ mentioned eliminating the 45mph restriction for NI drivers. That one seems to have gone the way of the Titanic!
Does the speed restriction apply to motorways?
Can you just imagine what that would mean on M6 at 8 AM or after 4 PM?
That ‘R’ plate sounds interesting. I assume it’s similar to the ‘P’ that new drivers can put on their cars voluntarily, and not an actual number plate?
Indeed, the best system would be for all drivers to have to continue with more advanced instruction until they’ve built up experience. Something like the Advanced Driver Test, where you get coaching by a qualified instructor monitoring your driving over a period. Certainly, in sport, everyone benefits from coaching. And, with no likelihood of our roads becoming easier, anyone just starting out needs all the help they can get.
Problem is whether we really need it. I’ve just returned from driving in continental Europe. It was frightening how poor was the standard of driving! It felt like every driver simply did what he wanted. No discipline whatsoever. Yes, it’s true newly licensed drivers make mistakes (and some are overconfident idiots), but the vast majority of our new drivers deserve a pat on the back. Interestingly, in the Netherlands, taxis have a different colour number plate, blue instead of the usual yellow. In their case, a blue taxi number plate signifies DANGER. BEWARE, THIS CAR IS BEING DRIVEN BY A TAXI DRIVER.
I’d like to see the ‘P’ plate made mandatory. I’d also like to see more of us experienced drivers showing more consideration for newly qualified drivers. It must be scary to venture onto today’s overcrowded roads. Maybe it should be an offence to not show appropriate courtesy to any driver with a ‘P’ or an ‘R’ plate.
Have you read the article? It states the R plate is compulsory. I agree R or P plate should be compulsory for a time, as L plates are while learning. I don’t see any point restricting speeds; leaners are encouraged to drive to the speed of traffic, which is safer than driving significantly slower – I had a friend fail for driving too slowly for example. Yes. Ensure that learners have to have lessons in night driving, motorway driving, maybe skid pan etc possibly as a 2nd test before they can take off the P or L plates….but then I’ve never driven on a skid pan in 35 years driving and drove at 70MPH on dual carriageways (since not allowed on motorways) and at night before passing. (1st time) at age 18. My engine sized was restricted due to insurance costs anyway both learning and after passing.
Blah, Blah, Blah……….
PASSENGERS ARE MORE DANGEROUS THAN DARKNESS
It’s driving with the distractions of (often rowdy or excitable) passengers is the biggest problem for young new drivers. A new driver needs to focus on driving, and shouldn’t carry passengers for a couple of months. The first time taking your mates out, is probably the most risky driving you’ll ever do (especially if they won’t sit quietly and let you concentrate).
CONGRATULATIONS to all our new drivers. You’ve done well passing your tests. Enjoy your new freedom.
We need more evidence when these accidents happen. Surely there is less chance of being in an accident with another vehicle at night? Due to less traffic. Or should we ban them at peak traffic times? Driving after the test is all about getting experience in different situations and developing your skills. Banning at night or peak times just diminishes the learning process. Possible speed limits might be an option for new drivers equivalent to the restriction on heavy goods wagons.
Get bad , dangerous , drink and drug drivers and those who regularly break any motoring law banned from driving for life with prison for life with no parole for those caught driving when banned Then the law abiding motorist has a chance. leave the young and old alone
engine size deffo no night driving a must too many boy racers and girls
Anything that reduces the fatalities and injuries due to rta is surely to be welcomed. Devastated relatives and friends, life changing injuries are all accompanied by a cost. Not just monetary but emotionally. Driving is a job of work that requires total concentration by the driver. All the extras that the motor manufacturers can add to a vehicle is also a distraction. The volume of traffic on our roads and the poor state of the roads also a big problem. It is a multi faceted issue that there is no one remedy will solve. Anything that helps reduces the carnage on our roads must be welcomed.
And by imposing all these restrictions new drivers are never going to build up their driving skills under all conditions.
I think that banning driving at night or imposing a 45 MPH limit is simply shortsighted and unfair. If we have such a serious problem is it not reasonable to assume that is the the level of training and the current Driving test are is no longer fit for purpose . Surely the need is for a better and more encompassing Driving Test .Change the driving test to 3 stages . ie Stage 1 as is . Stage 2 after 3 months a Night driving test with driving schools offering this tuition and once both these stages have been passed and a licence held for 6 months a final Motorway test. The R plate for the first 12 months is I believe a very good and constructive idea,
Surely we must teach new motorists the skills that they need not simply penalise them. Given the correct training over a graduated period would I am sure reduce the accident rate and make for safer better skilled new drivers. It would also encourage the greater majority of good new drivers to gain the skills they need.
This would be really helpful! Can you imagine that more than half of the new drivers would’t pass their final test and the roads would be safer? There won’t be so many drivers at roundabouts with the: “what should I do now” question on their faces. There won’t be so many drivers with the 2nd or 3rd lane as a target when they are joining a motorway and taking the first exit after 2 miles. And so on….
Great idea to have graduated scheme, but let it be realistic. Is there evidence to show nighttime new drivers have a greater risk of accidents? Restricting engine performance seems a good idea same as restricting number of passengers. Driving test should be upgraded to take account of the more hazardous situations including motorways, joining fast roads from slip roads, as well as nighttime driving, perhaps a restricted licence like automatics only but also restricted motorway and nighttime licence.
The idea of a graduated licence is long overdue. A system similar to the existing motorcycle, based on capacity and horse-power, would help educate younger persons to the responsibility of driving correctly. A friend of mine passed his test in an old 850 Mini van and 24-hours later destroyed the rear suspension of his 3-litre TVR.
More effort should also be brought to bear to get newer drivers to seek further/advanced driving instruction, as many believe they are ‘good’ drivers having once gained their licences and think they have very little more to learn. Again I’ve been led to believe the number of newer motorcyclists seeking further riding education is greater than for car drivers.
To dispel anyone who thinks I am anti drivers/ pro motorcyclists, I do have three motorcycles and a Ferrari, all accident free for more years than I can remember.
the problem is, although we have graduated licences for Motorbikes, as a percentage of owners, the motorcyclists are the highest ristk group (per licence holder and mile ridden) to be involved in an accident (fatal or not) and to break the speed limits by FAR more than a car driver, so im not exactly sure where the benefit would be, in that respect. by all means i agree novice drivers should be limited to around 75bhp for at least 2 years to allow them to gain some experience at reasonable power levels (enough power to be safe, not enough to be a danger due to being excessively underpowered, given the weight of modern cars) and a ban on ANY modifications (right down to banning aftermarket window tints and aftermarket stereos) to prevent increasing power etc.
perhaps a system to block mobile phone signals at speeds over 10mph would be useful for younger drivers who live on their phones too. that way their friends couldnt distract the driver by showing them their phones!
as for driving standards ‘declining’ as someone mentioned, im not really convinced that they are. the problem is that cars now do too much of the work FOR the driver (lane departure warnings, auto braking etc) that the drivers have become LAZY. when i learned, power steering and ABS was a LUXURY. in fact even electric windows and central locking were luxuries! now, you will struggle to buy a car without them!
I am still wondering why everyone is focused on the car’s power or modifications and not on the driver’s skills or training?
You don’t say how he destroyed the suspension
Just steal someone’s motorbike and ride it with no helmet on the road and the police won’t bother you like the Chav tramps in the town where I live.
my nephew got a Speeding Fine at night… he said he thought the Speed Cameras were turned off at night… DER!
the need to do something about MOST motorbike riders, or organ donors as I call them… and not just the newbies…
I’ve been riding 30yrs. I am an advanced driver and rider. When I took my car test and hgv’s class 1 both instructors and examiner’s said that they could tell I was a biker because I had more awareness of what was happening around me. Both stated that riders make the best drivers. As for your organ donor comment. I find that absolutely insulting. !!!!!
Not so insulting. The way some delivery m’cyclists ride is unbelievable.
As your nephew was thinking that speed cameras were turned off at night, there are many other drivers with different thoughts.
Generally in favour of some restrictions as long as sensible. Needs thinking through. Not sure about speed limit – a max limit of 45 mph would be dangerous around here. I think in Canada there are some restrictions on groups of youngsters driving together late evening etc whereas OK if with parents or adults. But why are we following Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden & USA? Didn’t we once lead?
Isn’t it common sense that, in this day and age, where so many people use the motorway as a matter of course, driving lessons should always cover such experience. I understand many lessons are now 2 hours long. That should enable learners to gain experience of motorway conditions, bearing in mind that dual carriageways have similar conditions should the learner not live near a motorway. I was fortunate to live close(ish) to the A3, so when I went to live in Germany (where motorways are everywhere) immediately after passing my test, I was able to get around without any problems and with confidence.
Restricting new drivers to one passenger would also help to reduce the distractions. Having said all this, we do, I believe, have some of the best drivers in the world so something is being done right.
Restriting new drivers to 45mph will turn them into a menace on open roads. Being stuck behind a dozy pillock doing 45 in a 60 zone is damned annoying anyway, without causing even more. It could in fact cause less patient drivers to become aggressive and overtake dangerously. #sillyidea
This is happening on a daily basis. I’m driving more than 200 miles a day and such situations are in place more often than I am changing the van’s gears.
Having a son who’s recently past his test, it’s only now that he’s actually learning to drive. They ‘teach to the test’. I was shocked at how poor his observation was and, sensibly, he felt too nervous to go out on his own. Several months later, with some adult accompaniment and gentle ongoing advice, he’s confident to take short trips alone and is building his skill behind the wheel. Next stage will be longer motorway trips and more night driving, again with an experienced adult.
Ultimately, it comes down to experience and understanding your own limitations. Unfortunately, there’s no IQ test to get a driving licence. Perhaps there should be! Observation, concentration and driving to conditions are key factors in road safely, but poor road design does play a part.
A big problem is insurance cost and insurance companies who take advantage of young people. This is counterproductive as they often can’t get insurance and so find it hard to build experience. As always, there is no simple answer to what’s become a complex problem.
I agree, by the way, comments about motorcyclists. I dread seeing one on the road as I’ve seen a high proportion that seem to have a death wish. The mantra shouldn’t be “think bike” but (to motorcyclists) “think about bigger vehicles that could kill you”. Many don’t seem to appreciate how vulnerable they are.
Mark, were do you get this idea about ALL motorcycle riders are a dangerous drivers? I’ve been a rider for 29 year, passed my car test the week after so 29 years, passed hgv class 2 and 1 19 years ago. Have done advanced riding and driving with police. Only time I’ve had a crash was 1 hgv newbe error and a motorcycle accident at 18 years old, were I was took out by a car not looking were they were going. A lot of my biking mates have similar experiences and license/ training. So were not all knob heads.
Further to the comments by Mark and Shed, thankfully I learned how short the driving test falls. When young, I opted for track experience and when I took my bike test, I only waited 6 weeks before I had completed the first of track based advances riding courses.
Since then I have paid for family members to have similar experience and this has served well. To this day I remain gobsmacked by the general lack of ability of the majority using our roads. Similarly shocking is the attitude of experience avoidance which appears to now be mainstream.
A person can learn to drive over the age of 25 and not have drove or have experience and yet be eligible to drive at night ! This is totally insane If a policy is To be introduced to cut back on accidents , it cannot just be ok young , but any inexperienced driver , regardless of age ; it should be a period of 12 months after passing a test ; irrespective of age and providing evidence (ie road tax ) black box etc in that persons name ; that they have had a vehicle to drive regularly . Also it may be worth bringing night driving into the test ; as like restricted vehicles for driving ; you can only drive as night , when this element of the test has been passed.
Why do successive governments and their officials always think that they are so clever and try to re- invent the wheel? Why not learn from the actual experience of other countries, such as Canada? Their system which has been in existence for many years is a progressive system with sensible limitations on new drivers which are relaxed as the driver gains experience. Their testing regime also includes practical multiple tests….. As usual a complete lack of common sense….
Do you have statistics to prove it’s an effective system?
Driving is the only skill we learn that the majority don’t continually try to improve on. I passed my advanced test a few years ago – a worthwhile thing to do I’m sure you all agree – and when I’m driving I pretend I’m on that test again. I truly believe the only answer is to make the test to the advanced level at least and teach people to have pride in their driving. A licence is a privilege not a right!
Some very good ideas, but with a 20 year old son who passed last week, a 1.4 engine is already £3500 insurance! I sincerely hope if there’s introduction, those RESPONSIBLE, compliant young drivers see a dramatic fall in premiums.
(Couldn’t edit my above thoughts)….Also, how about compulsory attendance of Speed Awareness Course for any age new drivers? This would reinforce speeding and poor habits just aren’t cool. Course content is sobering and delivered by experts. If we can publicly, successfully educate that drink driving isn’t right, im sure we can do it for speeding too. Peer pressure would then work in a positive manner in just the same way as it does to not drink drive.
Final thought….how many experienced, older drivers bother to get eye tests and continue driving complacently with poor vision at night? Just as toxic a hazard as under 25s with little nightime driving experience!
Extremely difficult if not impossible to enforce. Police are unable to provide much enforcement of current driving laws so the addition of this, while very desirable, is just not practical.
“The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) reports a spike in the number of road users killed or injured when the clocks go back. ”
Over and over again we hear of overwhelming evidence that changing the clocks in autumn is a BAD thing. The myths have all been shown to be exactly that and we know that thousands of lives WILL be saved. The Tories promised in their manifesto they would end this ridiculous waste of life and daylight in the evenings. They tried and an MP ‘talked out’ the effort to change the law. Goverment – TRY AGAIN please! If anyone believes in the myths surrounding this archaic habit – please check your facts.
The problem with driving lessons is that they teach you to pass your test. You don’t start really learning to drive until after you pass the test so a GDL would go some way towards solving this
I constantly witness driving standards deteriorate with increasing numbers of drivers not having the confidence to drive in a competent manner. Many driving ten miles an hour below the speed limit because they don’t have the confidence to drive at 30 or 40 in a built up area. Event worse when they are in open rural areas with A 60 limit and during at 30 or 40 with a big line of cars behind getting frustrated and someone often taking a risk to pass a long line of cars. I would be in favour of a new driving competence test for all drivers, say every ten years. Not a retest like the normal one but a something in between a normal test and an advanced motoring test. This should also include motorway driving.
I am in favour of the proposals with exceptions for young people driving to and from work. A working hours certificate could be provided by employers. Engine BHP should be districted rather than engine size as small engines are becoming much more powerful. I would also include a second tier test for motorway driving.
Problem with country road driving is the lack of repeater speed signs. It’s so easy to miss some signs then you just have to play it safe.
Yes I have often seen a new young driver has passed his test firsst time with sometimes only 1 week of tuition. The new methods used by young people to access facts and figures of the highway code etc together with the internet, sometimes not understanding why certain highway codes even exist!, they are just blarssay of the whole situation.
A quote from the article ; a minimum learning period before taking a test; this period should also comprise a minimum number of driving hours. After all to get a basic private pilot licence you must have a certain number of flying hours and of course you are limited to dayliht flying only and then only in good weather. You need to get another licence before you can fly at night.
I think it’s time to move to N.Korea,oh, am I already there?
I strongly believe that the driving lessons should be extended and more complex, to cover more areas and the driving test to include day&night driving on A roads and motorways. And black boxes to be fitted on the new driver’s car by law. This will help monitoring the new driver and also to reduce the insurance premium’s costs in some cases.
Ban all private tuition for a start. private tuition breeds bad manners.
So how would this work in Winter when it’s darker for longer? Full time and shift workers go to work in the dark and come home in the dark.
That would hardly be fair. Plus, like myself, I live in a small village a few miles from a town and about 3 miles from nearest shop. So if I needed something from the shop I’d forgotten to get during the day for my cooked meal then I couldn’t go out to get it because it’s dark if I was under 25.
Good idea in principle but has a lot more ramifications in actuality.