A graduated driving licence scheme which is being piloted in Northern Ireland could potentially be rolled out across the rest of the UK, it has been reported in the Scottish media.
According to the Press and Journal, the move was confirmed by the roads minister Jesse Norman in a letter to David Stewart, MSP for the Highlands and Islands.
Mr Stewart has long campaigned for the introduction of graduated driving licensing (GDL) and has expressed his delight that a pilot of the system is set to go ahead.
Mr Steward said: “In response to my most recent correspondence, Jesse Norman MP wrote to advise me that the Government have now decided to introduce a form of GDL in Northern Ireland as a pilot with the potential to roll out across the rest of the UK.”
“This is excellent news and just rewards for all the hard efforts of my team.”
According to the Press and Journal, the package of measures includes restricting newly qualified drivers, under 24 years of age, to carrying just one young passenger (aged 14-20 years) for the first six months post-test, during certain times.
It also includes a six-month mandatory minimum learning period for car drivers and a requirement to display a distinguishing plate on the vehicle for two years after receiving a full licence.
In February, the prime minister asked the DfT to explore the introduction of graduated licensing for newly-qualified drivers. Speaking in Parliament, Theresa May said ‘too many people suffer loss and tragedy at the hands of learner drivers’.
A spokesman for the Government told the Press and Journal: “GDL will establish a revised training and testing regime for car drivers and motorcyclists, and will introduce some post-test restrictions for drivers/riders to reduce the over-representation of new – mainly young – drivers/riders in fatal and serious road collisions.”