Last week, following questions from Labour MPs in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May suggested that the Government could revisit plans for a graduated licence whereby new drivers would be subject to strict restrictions during the first two years on the road.
Currently the laws relating to new drivers mean that they will have their licence revoked, stripping them of their licence altogether after totting 6 penalty points whereby drivers outside this probationary period are treated much more leniently allowing up to 12 penalty points before a minimum 6 month driving ban is imposed.
The rationale behind tougher laws come from statistics suggesting that motorists aged between 17 and 24 are involved in a quarter of all crashes on UK roads that lead to fatalities or serious injuries.
Taking a break from Brexit negotiations, Prime Minister Theresa May hinted that a probationary period for new licence holders would be reviewed in a bid to slash the number of young drivers killed on the roads. Mrs May stated that “there are too many people who suffer a loss and tragedy at the hands of learner drivers and we will look at that.”
A graduated driving licence could be introduced to restrict young drivers after they pass their test in a number of ways, including a suggested ban on the roads during evening hours.
Similar schemes exist overseas in Australia, New Zealand and the US with new drivers banned from night driving and carrying passengers aged under-25 unless they are supervised.
The drink-drive limit could be also be reduced for the first two years and further rules could be placed on maximum engine sizes to cut down on “boy racers”.
It has been suggested that a second driving test after passing this probationary period could even be added.
Of course this is all just talk at the moment and we are a way off any potential changes, however this is not the first time the issue has been touted. The idea of a graduated licence has been suggested in the past but has always proved controversial and was rejected over concerns it places unfair, arbitrary rules on young drivers who need to drive to work for evening jobs. No doubt any new changes will face similar opposition if new laws were to be considered.
The talks come on the back of government changes to the driving test in order to make it more “real-world” with plans to introduce motorway training from later this year to improve safety for new drivers and other motorists so that they are not entering the busiest roads in the country for the first time having just passed their test.
If you are a new driver who has committed a motoring offence contact our specialist motoring solicitors for advice on 0800 046 3066