Motorists back GDL: Brake

12.00 | 28 May 2013 | | 3 comments

84% of all drivers, and 69% of drivers under the age of 25 years, support a minimum period of time for people to learn to drive, according to a new survey by Brake, the road safety charity.

Brake is calling for post-test restrictions on novice drivers including a zero drink drive limit, a ban on late night driving and restrictions on carrying passengers.

Earlier this year the Government confirmed its intention to launch a Green Paper in a bid to improve the safety of young drivers and reduce the cost of insurance, especially for young drivers.

The survey of 1,000 drivers by Brake and Direct Line found that 70% of all respondents, and 63% of those under 25, support a zero drink drive limit for novice drivers; 88% believe there should be a minimum number of hours of supervised driving for learners, with 58% agreeing this should be at least 35 hours; and 90% want mandatory lessons on motorways and in difficult conditions.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “The Government has an opportunity to make a real difference to road safety and save a lot of young lives through reforming our driver licensing system.

“Evidence on how to reduce young driver crashes is very clear; by introducing a system of graduated licensing we can expect to make real inroads to ending the devastation caused by young driver crashes.

“We’re calling on Government to take bold steps by introducing all elements of graduated licensing – including a minimum learning period and post-test licence restrictions – but without compromising safety by simultaneously introducing changes that would increase risk, such as a lower minimum driving age.”

For more information contact Brake on 01484 559909.


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    Yes, graduated driver licensing can help. However, more important is the need for compulsory driver training. Ireland has made a start in this direction, all new permit holders must take 12 Essential Driver Training Car lessons before they can undertake their test. Also, six months must elapse before sitting the test. Compulsory training is essential.

    Tom Harrington Co. Kerry, Ireland
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    Anthony, Nottingham . Great comments. The Victorian model is in this realm and does not disadvantage learning difficulties or introverts, extroverts, engineers and artists. The journey may change but the end is the same, safe drivers. Affording greater time can only decrease the risk aven if the time is use with minimal coaching. We know through reads each that drivers get less risk with more hours and this directly correlates with learners.

    Craig waters australia
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    I am watching what happens with the graduated driver scheme with interest and having read through several draft copies of syllabus, I’m rather positive for the idea. I think removing the idea that it’s everybody’s right to drive will have an effect, and that you have to work to achieve this goal should show some benefits.

    However I have a few issues too. What happens to those that are not academic or with learning difficulties (like me) – what help and support will be in place? Also the cost of learning to drive will triple, what about those with less income?

    I really hope this works and I’m sure there will be a lot of benefit to understanding as well as skills, but I can’t help but still think humans are humans and once through the course it all goes out the window and we still drive like we own the road!

    Anthony, Nottingham
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