The age at which teenagers can learn to drive may be raised in an effort to reduce the number of young people being killed each year on our roads.

Currently, youngsters can pass their test at 17, but new proposals put forward by the Department for Transport would see that raised to 18, with drivers having to log 120 hours of supervised practice, including 20 hours at night, before being eligible to sit the practical examination.

Ministers have also suggested preventing learner drivers from holding a full driving licence until their 19th birthday.

The tabled reforms to the driving test, published by the Transport Research Laboratory, have followed continued calls by road safety organisations for a complete overhaul of the licencing system to ensure young drivers are fully equipped to tackle the dangers of driving.

If given the go-ahead, learner drivers would face a graduated licencing system –as currently used in Canada and the USA – which would see novices having to pass a series of landmarks after passing their test to remove restrictions on their driving.

These restrictions would include a ban on driving at night and giving lifts to friends in their first year as licence holders.

New drivers would also face a lower drink-drive limit for a year and would be obliged to display a green ‘P’ plate on their car for the same period.

It is hoped that the plans would save over 4,000 people each year being killed or injured on the road.

The report states: “The younger a driver is when they become licensed, the more likely they are to become involved in a collision. Meanwhile, the post-licence driving period, when on-road experience is lacking, is the riskiest time.”

Do you think the proposed changes will have an effect on the number of young people killed on our roads each year? Have your say below.

Picture: Fotolia

Daljinder Nagra


October 11, 2013