The new Conservative Government has refused to confirm whether it has any plans to publish a Green Paper on the issue of young drivers, according to an article in the Scottish newspaper, The Herald.
In March 2013, the previous coalition government announced its intention to launch a Green Paper in a bid to improve the safety of young drivers. It was proposed that the Green Paper would look at a range of options for improving the safety of newly-qualified drivers including: a minimum learning period before candidates are permitted to sit their test; enabling learner drivers to take lessons on motorways; increasing the probationary period from two to three years; making the driving test more rigorous and introducing incentives for young drivers to take up additional training after passing their test.
However, the Green Paper was subsequently shelved and, according to The Herald, a spokeswoman at the DfT has refused to confirm there are plans to revisit the issue.
The news comes days after Derek Mackay, Scotland’s transport minister, offered to host a Graduated Driver Licencing (GDL) pilot scheme in Scotland.
David Stewart, Scotland’s shadow transport minister and Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has been campaigning for more than five years to introduce GDL in Scotland.
Mr Stewart told The Herald: "I am severely disappointed that it appears that the Government has abandoned this Green Paper which may not see the light of day now.
"Early indications from the previous Government suggested that the life saving GDL may have been featured in it, which could have saved numerous young drivers lives.
"I plan to redouble my efforts to see GDL implemented by the UK Government, and I have already written to Patrick McLoughlin MP, the secretary of state for transport, asking for this scheme to be piloted in Scotland initially."
RoSPA has also been pushing for moves to improve the safety of young drivers, and recently published its own Green Paper on the subject.