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UK Government looks at steps to make new drivers safer

18 July 2019

As part of the UK Department for Transport’s upcoming two-year road safety action plan graduated driver licensing is being explored further in a bid to cut new driver crashes. Research will look at the impact of limiting what less experienced drivers can do in their first few months on the road.

New drivers could face limits on what they can do on the road, to ease them into a lifetime of safe driving.

The government will commit in its road safety action plan, to be published on 19th July to explore further whether graduated driver licensing — or a similar scheme — should be introduced in England

These schemes could put restrictions on new drivers, such as a minimum learning period, not driving at night, or not driving with passengers under a certain age in the car.

One in 5 new drivers crashes within their first year on the road, and so any changes would be designed to help reduce this number and improve road safety.

Evidence available on The Road Safety Observatory suggests that in Great Britain the introduction of multiple components of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) will result in saving at least 4,478 casualties, which is a conservative estimation . 

Limitations of passenger numbers (in general) and on driving between midnight and 5 a.m., are ideas that enjoy the support of over 60% of British people.

GDL schemes already operate in New Zealand; New South Wales and Victoria in Australia; New York and California in the USA; Ontario and British Columbia in Canada and in Sweden. However, schemes of this nature in the UK have previously been rejected due to concerns that it may potentially restrict new drivers’ access to jobs and education.

Government will consult on the proposals. Comments from Fleet News, IAM RoadSmart and RAC highlight some of the challenges which need to be faced when introducing GDL.





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