Drivers ‘should be made to learn for a year’
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is calling for a range of measures to address the casualty problem among young, newly qualified drivers (BBC News).
The ABI says that people should spend at least a year learning to drive and also wants new drivers to face restrictions on driving at night and a lower alcohol limit. On the other hand the ABI it says people should be allowed to start learning six months before their 17th birthday, adding that the need for more rigorous driver training has been side-stepped “for too long”.
The BBC News report says that other reforms put forward by the ABI include: a ban on learners being able to take an intensive driving course as their only method of passing; the introduction of a new ‘graduated’ licence for the first six months after passing a test (during this time the number of young passengers that a newly-qualified driver could carry would also be restricted); a ban on driving between 11:00pm and 4:00am for the first six months (unless they were driving to and from work or college); and no blood alcohol allowed during the first six months.
Otto Thoresen, ABI director general, said: “Radical action is needed to reduce the tragic waste of young lives on our roads, especially among the 17 to 24 age group.
“A car is potentially a lethal weapon, and we must do more to help young drivers better deal with the dangers of driving. Improving the safety of young drivers will also mean that they will face lower motor insurance costs.
“Northern Ireland is introducing reforms and politicians in Westminster should follow their lead in introducing meaningful reform to help today's young drivers become tomorrow's safer motorists.”
Stephen Hammond, road safety minister, said the Government would consider the ideas, adding: “We are already working with young people, the insurance industry and other key stakeholders to identify what else can be done to ensure that newly-qualified drivers are properly prepared and drive safely.”
Click here to read the full BBC News report.