Anger as young driver plan rebuffed

Insurance firms have expressed their unhappiness over the Government's announcement that no restrictions will be imposed on young people who get behind the wheel.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) had urged the Government to introduce a raft of measures, including a zero alcohol limit and a driving ban from 11pm to 4am, to reduce the number of accidents involving young motorists, as well as to avoid unnecessarycar insurance claims.

However Mike Penning, road safety minister, said the Government had no plans to "unfairly penalise responsible young people who rely on driving to get to work or college".

This has angered the ABI, which also wants under 25s to be allowed to take their driving test only after a 12-month learning period.

Nick Starling, director of general insurance at the ABI, said: "Ministers need to worry less about losing votes from young people and start taking seriously the threat young drivers pose to themselves, their passengers and other drivers.

"Both this Government and its predecessor have talked a good game on young drivers but have failed to grasp real reform with the result that claims have continued to rise and costs of insurance for young drivers have become too high. Insurers are exploring black-box technology to help bring down costs for young drivers, but we can't do this on our own."

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