Row Over Graduate Driver Restraint Proposals

Row over graduate driver restraint proposals

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Proposals to introduce 'graduated licences' to prevent young drivers from driving at night have come under fire this week.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says new, young drivers should be banned from driving at night and advocated restrictions on the number of passengers they could carry.

The proposals also called for a year-long 'learning period' for these restrictions in order to reduce the high proportion of accidents involving new and younger drivers in the UK.

However, proposals have been described as 'not the answer to Britain's road safety woes' by Money Supermarket.com.

Banning young drivers from driving at night could be 'intrusive' because it could prevent those who work night shifts from working.

In professions such as nursing night shifts are common and public transport can often be limited during night-time hours.

Critics of the proposal also point to the fact a 12 month period after passing a test is no indication of experience gained on the road.

A new driver could not get behind the wheel of car for 12 months but still pass the learning period. Instead, opponents to the proposals are calling for better training for newly qualified drivers instead.

And, while agreeing the need to cut down on the number of passengers in young peoples' cars, it does go against green initiatives such as car sharing in order to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

However, there is agreement something needs to be done in the UK after road deaths increased by three per cent in 2011.

This is all-the-more worrying because it was the first time road deaths had increased in ten years in the UK and has sparked a number of debates about road safety.

According to road safety charity Brake, an 18 year old driver is more than three times as likely to crash as a 48 year old driver. Meanwhile, one in five new drivers has crashed within six months of passing their test.

As a result of this young driver car insurance is exceptionally high compared to other age groups.

Brake also says young male drivers between the age of 17 and 20 are seven times more at risk of a crash than other male drivers and this risk can increase by 17 times between the hours of 2am and 5am.

According to Brake: "Young drivers may be under the impression that because roads are quieter at night it is safer for them to speed or pay less attention to the road. In fact, you can't see as far."

It seems obvious something must be done to prevent young drivers causing accidents shortly after their crash but critics of the graduated learning scheme are instead advocating extra training and training programmes for newly-qualified drivers in order to make them road-ready.