AUTO NEWS – MPs to think about graduated driving licences

MPs to think about graduated driving licences

MPs are set to think about graduated driving licences (GDLs), which might see newly certified drivers banned from the roads at night time and through the early hours of the morning.

The Transport Committee – a cross-party group of MPs who scrutinise the Division for Transport (DfT) – is holding an proof session on 2 September the place it is going to contemplate why younger and novice drivers are statistically the next threat with regards to highway site visitors collisions and casualties, and the way this is perhaps mitigated.

The committee will hear from varied highway security consultants and campaigners from organisations such because the RAC and Brake. One particular person resulting from communicate on the proof session is Dr Neale Kinnear, head of behavioural science at TRL (Transport Analysis Laboratory). In line with the Telegraph, Kinnear estimates {that a} GDL scheme might stop roughly 400 deaths or critical accidents yearly, in flip saving the economic system £200 million each year.

GDLs might see drivers who’ve not too long ago handed their take a look at restricted not solely to what time of day they’ll drive, but in addition within the age and variety of passengers they’ll carry. Moreover, they could have to finish a particular variety of hours behind the wheel earlier than with the ability to take their sensible driving take a look at within the first place. GDL schemes can even place restrictions on how highly effective the automobile of a brand new driver might be.

Motorists between the ages of 17 and 24 are most in danger from demise or damage in site visitors accidents and, whereas fatalities fell steadily up till 2012, they’ve plateaued since that date. Drivers aged between 17 and 19 account for simply 1.5 per cent of licence holders, however are concerned in virtually one in 10 accidents, whereas 1 / 4 of these aged 18 to 24 have an accident inside two years of passing their take a look at. 

In its 2019 highway security evaluation, the DfT mentioned it will examine whether or not a GDL system must be launched nationally.

Ministers have beforehand shied away from GDLs, partly as they face criticism for being particularly strict, and partly over considerations they might restrict the flexibility of latest drivers to hold out shift work. However considerations over accident charges, coupled with profitable GDL schemes in nations together with New Zealand, Sweden and elements of Australia, have led ministers to take a look at the concept extra intently. 

Motorists already routinely lose their driving licence in the event that they accrue six penalty factors throughout the first two years after passing their take a look at, and the UK bike licence scheme, whereas not a full GDL, locations restrictions on age and bike-power output, with probably the most highly effective bikes not accessible to these aged underneath 21.

Saying the investigation in 2019, Street Security Minister Michael Ellis mentioned: “We need to discover in better element how graduated driver licensing, or elements of it, might help new drivers to remain protected and cut back the variety of folks killed or injured on our roads.”

In Could 2018, then Roads Minister Jesse Norman wrote that “The Division for Transport has determined to make use of the introduction of GDL in Northern Eire as a pilot to assemble proof on the potential for GDL in Nice Britain”. Graduated driving licences are set to be launched in Northern Eire over this 12 months and subsequent, as authorities try to cut back accident charges.

Again in 2013, the DfT commissioned a examine on graduated licences, which discovered “indeniable” proof that tiered methods, particularly for younger drivers, assist reduce accident charges. The examine estimated if all 17-19-year-old drivers in Nice Britain confronted driving restrictions, it will “end in annual financial savings of 4,471 casualties and £224million”. The researchers concluded: “Primarily based on the proof, it’s endorsed that licensing in GB be based mostly on a full GDL system.”

Driving restrictions in different nations

Comparable schemes function in different nations. Drivers in New Zealand, for instance, face among the hardest restrictions on the earth, and new drivers should undergo a three-stage graduated system.

The primary stage includes of a learner licence, and novice drivers should rating 32 out of 35 in a concept take a look at earlier than being allowed to drive with a supervisor and L plates.

Then, after holding their learner licence for no less than six months, New Zealand learners should sit a 45-minute ‘restricted’ driving take a look at. As soon as that is handed, drivers are solely allowed to drive on their very own between the hours of 5am and 10pm, although they’ll drive exterior these hours offered they’ve supervisor with them. Restricted licence holders are additionally prohibited from driving with any alcohol of their system if they’re underneath 20 years outdated.

To get a full New Zealand driving licence, motorists should then sit one other sensible take a look at, which lasts for 30 minutes. This may solely be taken by drivers who’ve held a restricted licence for between three and 18 months, relying on age, and whether or not they have sat a sophisticated driver-training course.

Drivers in Northern Eire face comparable however much less stringent guidelines: they have to show amber ‘R’ plates (quick for ‘restricted’) for the primary 12 months after passing their assessments, and should not allowed to drive over 45mph.

Drivers in Eire should present ‘N’ plates (quick for ‘novice’) on their automobiles for 2 years after passing their assessments, and are topic to decrease drink drive limits than extra established motorists.

Finland, in the meantime, requires newly-qualified motorists to take ‘in-depth’ driver coaching that features night-time programs after passing their take a look at.

Skilled views

Neil Greig, Director of Coverage and Analysis, IAM RoadSmart 

In any graduated driver licensing (GDL) scheme, the hot button is constructing expertise. We help a ‘minimal studying interval’ with a listing of driving expertise you need to full – similar to city/rural, day/night time, moist/dry. Too many younger drivers move the sensible take a look at unprepared for the highway and this method would assist them survive the high-risk early months on their very own.

Peer passenger bans are value exploring, however night-time curfews would possibly limit expertise after darkish.

Selling the constructive security advantages of GDL to teenagers and their dad and mom results in self-enforcement, whereas prices needn’t be prohibitive.

GDL shouldn’t cease on the sensible take a look at and we help post-test check-ups to embed studying and assist new drivers negotiate our annoying roads. 

Edmund King, President, AA

We help graduated studying earlier than the take a look at as a greater manner of training new drivers.

The subject of graduated licences post-test has been raised various occasions in the previous few years. We’d be supportive of any transfer that goals to enhance the security of newly-qualified drivers, however could be cautious of something that’s too restrictive.

Draconian measures to limit new drivers could be tough to implement as we’re have already got skilled a 20 per cent drop in site visitors police.

As an alternative of better restrictions post-test we might somewhat enhance training earlier than the take a look at; measures similar to together with highway security on the nationwide curriculum would enhance younger folks’s attitudes earlier than they even get behind the wheel. 

Nicholas Lyes, Head of Roads Coverage, RAC

The RAC has been calling for reform of driving training for younger folks and the introduction of graduated driving licences with a minimal supervised studying interval, in addition to restrictions on the variety of passengers permitted within the automobile.

This can be a very constructive step in direction of stopping the lack of younger lives on our roads. The RAC’s Report on Motoring confirmed that 35 per cent of younger drivers felt the usual driving take a look at doesn’t cowl all the abilities required to deal with the calls for of driving in the present day, so clearly we must be exploring enhance the educational expertise.

Graduated licensing can also have a constructive affect on insurance coverage premiums and may cut back the price of driving for brand new motorists. 


John McIlroy, Deputy editor, Auto Categorical

I grew up in Northern Eire, so I went by the method of R-plates – limiting my velocity throughout my first 12 months of motoring, simply as my youthful pleasure was at its peak.

Greater than 25 years later, I believe it was a very good factor. There was at all times the sensation that the police have been retaining a more in-depth eye on you due to these plates within the entrance and rear glass – however then, that meant that I did spend most of that first 12 months getting on top of things earlier than I used to be, er, on top of things.

The thought solely works if there are sufficient police to implement it, although. For plenty of causes, they weren’t briefly provide in Northern Eire within the early nineties. We’d want just a few extra site visitors officers if it was to work throughout the broader UK in the present day.

Learn our sensible ideas for passing the driving take a look at

AUTO NEWS – MPs to think about graduated driving licences


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