All motorists under 24 years of age could be barred from carrying more than one passenger in their car
In an effort to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads, tougher restrictions aimed at young drivers could be introduced here in the UK.
If the proposals go ahead, all drivers under 24 years of age will have to undergo a further six months of training before being given their full driving licence.
Once passed, they will also have to display a probationary ‘P’ plate on their vehicle for the following two years and will be barred from carrying more than one passenger.
To begin with, the new tougher rules will only apply in Northern Ireland, however if the scheme turns out to be a success, the restrictions will be introduced here in the UK.
Yesterday, the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed their plans to introduce a ‘graduated driving licence’.
The new reforms could be introduced by the Northern Irish government in 2019/20 and have consulted on the legislation needed to push the move forward.
Under the new rules, motorists under the age of 24 will be prohibited from carrying more than one passenger aged 14 to 20 between 11pm and 6am during the first six months after they’ve passed their test. They will also have to go through a six month compulsory minimum training period and will have to display a ‘P’ plate for the following two years after they’ve been granted their full driving licence.
The ‘P’ plate is already in use across the UK but it isn’t compulsory to display one following a driving test pass.
David Stewart, a member of the Scottish parliament, has been pushing for the move for eight years in a bid to improve road safety after the deaths of two 17-year-olds in Inverness, Scotland.
“This is excellent news and just rewards for all the hard efforts of my team,” said Mr Stewart.
According to official figures, drivers aged from 16 to 19 are a third more likely to die in an accident than a driver who’s aged 40 to 49 and it’s young male drivers, or ‘boy racers’, who end up being involved in much more crashes than young female drivers.
According to the AA, one in four 18 to 24-year-olds have an accident within two years of gaining their full driving licence.
In February this year, Theresa May announced that the DfT would be looking into the case concerning a graduated driving licence (GDL). This assurance came after Labour MP Jenny Chapman proposed new restrictions be introduced and said that 400 deaths or serious injuries occurred on our roads every year involving young drivers.
The tougher restrictions were welcomed by the Association of British Insurers who would like to see GDL’s introduced in the UK: ‘Any measure that can improve the safety of newly qualified drivers will make the roads safer and should push down insurance premiums.’
A number of other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Sweden have already introduced graduated licences.
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