New drivers could be banned from taking to the roads at night in a bid to improve road safety.
Government ministers have suggested the introduction of a graduate licensing system in England, Scotland and Wales that would place new limitations on inexperienced drivers. It follows research that found that one in five drivers are involved in a crash within one year of passing their test.
As well as preventing novices from driving at night, the new Department for Transport rules would bring into force things like a minimum learning period, and stopping them from having passengers below a certain age.
The Government has not said how long these restrictions would be in place after a new driver passed their test.
The AA has warned that such stringent measures could prove to be an “unnecessary burden” on motorists.
The road safety minister, Michael Ellis, said, “Getting a driving licence is exciting for young people, but it can also be daunting, as you’re allowed to drive on your own for the first time.”
He said that the idea behind the new license system would be to make it safer for young drivers.
Graduate driving schemes are already in force in a number of parts of the USA and Canada, including California, New York, Ontario and British Columbia. They have been dismissed in the UK in the past over concerns that they would create an obstacle for young people trying to find employment and accessing education.
Consultation is needed
The proposals, which would need to get through consultation before any of them were put into force, come as part of the DfT’s Road Safety Action Plan, which will be published tomorrow (Friday July 19).
Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said to the Press association, “RoSPA welcomes this trial and believes that it will allow young drivers to gain valuable experience, while reducing the risks associated with night-time driving and the carrying of multiple passengers.”
AA president Edmund King said, “For many people, excessive post-test restrictions could negate the purpose of them having a driving licence in the first place – such as driving to work on early or late shifts when public transport is not convenient.
“This is why any post-test restrictions must be properly researched and piloted first to ensure they do not place an unnecessary burden on new drivers.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews