Graduated licences for young drivers will ‘prevent loss of lives’

Graduated licences for young drivers will ‘prevent loss of lives’
The introduction of a graduated licensing scheme for young drivers would be a “very positive step” towards improving road safety, the RAC has said.

Prime Minister Theresa May requested the Department for Transport look into the reforms after she was urged to consider the introduction of the graduated driving licence system by Darlington MP Jenny Chapman.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams has welcomed the idea, as well as supervised learning periods and further restrictions for young drivers on the roads.

A second probationary test could also be added in the reforms.

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He said: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s comments that she will ask the Department for Transport to take a look at the introduction of graduated driving licences.

“The RAC has been calling for a reform of driving education for young people and the introduction of graduated driving licences with a minimum supervised learning period and restrictions on the number of passengers permitted in the car so this is a very positive step towards preventing the loss of young lives on our roads.”

Mr Williams added more should be done to educate young drivers as well as increasing the restrictions on new motorists in the first two years.

He said: “The RAC’s Report on Motoring showed that 35% of young drivers felt the standard driving test does not cover all the skills required to cope with the demands of driving today, so clearly we should be exploring how to improve the learning experience.”

Graduated systems are already being implemented successfully in other countries. Similar schemes in the US, Australia and New Zealand restrict new drivers from roads at night and from carrying passengers under 25.

Mr Williams said: “Evidence from other countries where some form of graduated driver licensing is used shows that it has been successful in reducing the number of collisions involving young drivers, but in order for it to be as effective as possible it has to be part of an overall package of measures including more extensive driver education.”

The restrictions would also benefit younger drivers by helping lower insurance premiums and bringing the cost of getting on the road down significantly.

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Mr Williams explained: “Graduated licensing may also have a positive impact on insurance premiums and should bring about a welcome reduction in the costs for new drivers who are finding the cost of learning to drive, buying and insuring a vehicle prohibitive.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.