Should we Place Restrictions on New Drivers?

A new study set to be presented at the World Safety Conference is suggesting that employing a “graduated driver licensing” scheme, placing restrictions on drivers who have just passed their tests, in the UK could save up to 200 lives and prevent 1,700 serious injuries on an annual basis. The level of restrictions could extend as far as preventing new drivers not being allowed to drive in night-time conditions and not travelling with people of a similar age.

The research, conducted by Cardiff University, looked at road accident data from 2000 to 2007 and discovered that 1 in 5 new drivers crashes within the first 6 months of passing their driving test. Looking at the figures the team concluded that using a graduated license scheme many accidents could be averted. Similar graduated schemes are run in other countries throughout the world including Australia, New Zealand and in some states in the USA. Dr Sarah Jones, the research team leader, added: “Graduated driver licensing works in other countries and there’s no good reason why it wouldn’t work here.”

Although the scheme could help with safety on the roads and potentially save the economy over £800m by cutting accident rates, the head of road safety at the AA, Andrew Howard, thinks that the benefits of the scheme could be outweighed by several disadvantages. He suggested that the scheme would penalise those with a genuine need to drive at night, for example night shift workers, and that police could struggle to enforce the scheme.

The Safety 2010 World Conference is currently being held in London, just down the road from Sixt’s Victoria Station car hire branch and is set to end on the 24th September.

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1 Response

  1. Clare says:

    The idea is a good one, but I doubt very much that it will be easy to enforce. The police are seemingly stretched to capacity already and not sure they have the resource to be stopping new drivers at night, or those acarrying other young passengers. There is already a similar policy in place where new drivers can only amass 6 penalty points in the first 2 years of driving before having to retake their test or being banned (as opposed to the 12 for ‘regular’ licence holders). Although I guess this is a reactive penalty and not a pro-active strategy. Sadly it all comes down to policing and enforcement and just don’t think it will be a success.

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