The Department of Infrastructure in the Isle of Man is proposing to introduce a series of new measures to improve the safety of young, newly qualified drivers.
The proposals are aimed at reducing the number of fatal or serious collisions on Manx roads by promoting a safer environment while new drivers build up their experience and competence.
They include extending the period of ‘R-plate’ restrictions from one to two years, limiting R-plate drivers to carrying only one passenger, introducing a curfew for R-Plate drivers between 12 midnight and 5am, and banning R-plate drivers if they accumulate six penalty points.
R plate restrictions are given to newly qualified drivers for a period of 12 months from the date when they acquire a full driving licence. Newly qualified drivers must display red ‘R-plates’ at the front and back of the vehicle and are not permitted to drive at speeds of more than 50mph.
The department is also investigating ways to develop and assess the ability of drivers once they have passed their test, and says consideration will be given to reducing the R-plate period for drivers who undertake and pass additional training.
The proposed new legislation takes into account feedback to a public consultation and online survey conducted towards the end of 2014. More than 1,200 people submitted responses with the majority (79%) supporting the need for change.
Phil Gawne MHK, infrastructure minister, said: “The safety of people on our roads is a priority and the high level of engagement in the consultation shows just how important this subject is to the Manx public. New drivers are among our most vulnerable road users and the department’s proposals are intended to develop their experience behind the wheel in the safest way possible.
“New drivers are often those in the 16 to 24 age bracket, so we want to strike the right balance between making things safer without unduly restricting young people’s social freedoms and economic opportunities.”