One former MP has spoken out about how the government seems slow to react to any potential new plans involving young drivers. Earl Attlee spoke about his personal approval of graduated driving licences, which impose conditions on newly qualified drivers, and says it must be properly looked at.
The government are trying to look at how current technology can help including the black box – a device some drivers choose to have in their car to reduce their insurance costs. Labour peer Lord Jordan said young drivers accounted for 20% of all road deaths while making up only 7% of all licence holders. Jordan also claimed that previous efforts to reduce these figures had failed, he called for more radical steps to reassure the large number of parents of Britain who were “terrified” of the risks facing their children on the UK’s roads.
Lord Attlee backed the suggestion of GDL, suggesting it was time that the UK s followed the USA and Australia in their ruling for young drivers. Some of these rules include: banning driving at night and also limiting the number of passengers a young driver has in their car at one time – as they are seen as distractions to the person driving.
Some of the suggested changes that would be brought in with a graduated driving licences might be;
• Minimum learning period of one year before learner drivers can take their practical driving test, theory test and hazard awareness test.
• The learner’s licence should not be fully valid until the learner driver has received a minimum of 10 hours’ professional tuition in a car.
• Learner drivers, must be supervised while driving, and the minimum age of accompanying drivers should be raised to 25.
• Accompanying drivers should be registered as ‘approved accompanying drivers’ by completing a questionnaire to prove their suitability.
• Drivers should hold a novice licence for two years after passing a practical driving test.
• Drivers should be allowed to drive unsupervised, however they can’t carry passengers who are younger than 25 unless supervised, and not driving between 11pm and 6am, unless supervised or travelling directly from home to work or school.
• Drivers should be required to take a further 10 hours of professional tuition, during which they must drive on motorways and at night.
• Young drivers should then be required to pass a second driving test at the end of the two year period to help ensure safe driving on all types of roads.
Some people believe GDL could intervene too much in a young driver’s life. It could potentially affect their ability to work and attend forms of education, due to the restrictions on driving at night/ early morning. These proposals would seriously restrict the lives of young people living in rural areas with poor public transport links. Young people would not be able to ‘car share’ if travelling long distances.