Government to publish young driver safety green paper
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced plans for green paper on the safety of young drivers. According to the government, this could mean that young drivers could benefit from “improved training and lower insurance premiums” as a result.
The proposals were made on Monday 25 March at a summit for the motor insurance industry hosted by the DfT. Representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Department for Health, insurers and consumer organisation uSwitch were also present.
Some of the proposals being considered are: a minimum learning period before candidates are permitted to sit their test, enabling learner drivers to take lessons on motorways, perhaps during adverse weather conditions or during darkness; increasing the existing probationary period from 2 to 3 years for a new driver’s licence to be revoked if they receive 6 or more penalty points; making the driving test more rigorous to better prepare learners to drive unsupervised; incentives for young drivers to take up additional training after passing their test. The government is also considering the possibility of imposing temporary restrictions on newly qualified drivers.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “It is alarming that a fifth of people killed or seriously injured on our roads in 2011 were involved in a collision where at least one driver was aged 17 to 24. Improving the safety of our young drivers is therefore a real priority and will not only reduce casualties but should also mean a reduction in the sky-high insurance premiums they pay.”
Presenting a tyre industry perspective, Michelle Fisher, spokesperson for Goodyear Tyres commented: “We agree that there is a need to improve the safety of young drivers and the proposals outlined by the Government for this Green Paper make a lot of sense for young drivers. Goodyear is committed to road safety and focuses heavily on how young people develop a safety focused approach to driving. We believe that introducing young people to driving earlier helps to instil safer driving practices, which is why we work closely with an organisation called Young Driver to give 11-17 year olds the opportunity to learn to drive at one of a number of specialist centres nationwide. We have integrated this in to our wider Driving Academy programme, a scheme of both theoretical and practical driver learning, which we hope to see extended to all schools in the coming years.”