Under new proposals put forward by the Government teenagers will have to wait an extra year before they can undertake their driving test and acquire a licence. The Government’s Transport Research Laboratory has planned the following that will affect learner drivers:
• Imposing a ‘learner stage’ that lasts 12 months beginning from a person’s 17th birthday. Drivers will be required to drive 100 hours in daytime and 20 hours at night under supervision
• After the 12 month ‘learner stage’ is complete a driver will need to complete the current driving tests (practical and theory)
• Upon passing the required tests a driver move onto a probationary licence for a minimum of 12 months from the age of 18
• A probationary license will impose a curfew between 10pm and 5pm, unless the driver is accompanied by an adult over the age of 30
• Drivers with a probationary licence will be unable to carry passengers aged under 30 years old or use a hands-free mobile phone
The proposals put forward for new drivers aren’t new. In fact, reports of scheduled changes date all the way back to 2007 and are focused on the idea of improving young driver safety.
The RAC Foundation reported that one in five newly qualified will have an accident within six months of passing their test. More alarmingly four teenagers die or are seriously injured each week on UK roads.
It is hoped that these proposals will help make novice drivers safer when using UK roads. At present, drivers aged 17-19 comprise only 1.5% of UK licence holders but are involved in 12% of fatal and serious crashes. It is believed that younger drivers are involved in a greater number of accidents because of two factors: poor assessment of hazards and risk-taking. By introducing an updated licencing process it is believed that young drivers will be more aware of potential hazards and will better understand the dangers that exist on the road.
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