New drivers could be banned from driving at night under new licensing proposal

New drivers could be banned from driving at night under new licensing proposal
A potential ban on newly-qualified motorists driving at night could have severe implications on the lives of young people, according to motoring experts.

In a recent report, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced it is considering plans to introduce a graduated licence scheme for new drivers.

But experts warn that the system – which would include a raft of new restrictions alongside a night-time ban – could put youngsters off driving entirely, severely limiting their independence. 

The move comes after recent DfT figures revealed one in five newly-qualified motorists are involved in a collision in their first 12 months.

To combat this, graduated driving licences could see new drivers prevented from taking passengers under a certain age, or have their legal alcohol limit reduced.

Similar schemes are already in place in other countries to improve the road safety of young drivers, including many EU countries and parts of Australia and Canada.

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But in response to the announcement, Ian McIntosh, chief executive of Red Driving School, argued the scheme would disadvantage young people, hampering their employment prospects and social mobility.

“It will also affect support networks built around friends and families – particularly in rural areas where public transport options are limited,” he said.

“At a time where young drivers are already penalised through higher insurance premiums, the government should avoid action that further limits the opportunities offered by learning to drive.”

The RAC’s head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes cautiously welcomed the news, although urged the government to try and meet the needs of both road safety and young people’s independence.

“Graduated driver licensing has the benefit of providing a more controlled environment when learning how to drive, however this must be balanced so it does not disadvantage young drivers.”

Mr Lyes also called for the Government to look closely at providing incentives for ‘black box’ telematics-based policies, which can provide financial savings for safer drivers.

There are currently no further details on exactly how the proposed system would work in practice, including how long drivers would be classified as ‘newly-qualified.’

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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