New inquiry to scrutinise young driver safety

09.33 | 26 July 2019 | | 5 comments

The Transport Committee has launched a new inquiry into the safety of young and novice drivers – with the Government’s commitment to explore GDL under the spotlight.

Last week, the DfT promised to review and consult on graduated driver licensing (GDL) as part of its Road Safety Action Plan.

A GDL scheme is likely to place restrictions on new drivers, such as a minimum learning period, not driving at night, or not driving with passengers under a certain age in the car.

As part of the inquiry, announced on 26 July, the Transport Committee will look in detail at the DfT’s commitment to explore whether GDL – or a similar scheme – should be introduced in England.

The inquiry will also focus on the suitability of the current framework of training and testing for new drivers, and the use of telematics to track driver behaviour.

Written submissions are welcome until 30 August.

Statistics show that young drivers (aged 17-24 years) account for 7% of the UK’s driving licence holders but are involved in 20% of fatal and serious collisions.

Lilian Greenwood MP, chair of the Transport Committee, said: “Road traffic collisions are one of the biggest killers of young people. In 2017, road traffic collisions accounted for 15% of deaths for people aged 15 to 24 years. 

“Young and novice drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a road traffic collision than more experienced drivers. 

“We want to explore why young and novice drivers are at a higher risk of being involved in a road traffic collision and determine what the Government can do to reduce these risks.”

Part of wider plans to explore road safety
The inquiry is part of the Transport Committee’s plans to explore road safety over the duration of this parliament.

In March, it launched an inquiry to consider the Government’s current approach to road safety – and look for interventions that would be most effective at reducing the number and severity of road traffic collisions.

Also ongoing is an inquiry to explore the problems of pavement parking in England, and consider possible solutions.

Meanwhile, earlier this week the Transport Committee published a report which urges the Government to provide local authorities with the support and funding needed to make cycling and walking a priority in their areas.



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    I am somewhat puzzled by all the debate on GDL as if it were a new and untried thing in the UK. It is already here. Motorcyclists have been subject to GDL for years.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    Some young male drivers like to drive fast and their cars are often small hatchbacks which whilst cheaper to run are unfortunately, because of their weight, less stable at speed if there is even the slightest twitch of the steering wheel or even momentary panic braking particularly on a bend. These drivers are not aware of their own limits nor that of the vehicle they are driving, made worse when they have passengers which makes braking and overall control more unpredictable.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (2) | Disagree (3)

    > If young people see “adults” (ie parents) driving badly

    What is your definition of “badly”? Outwith the law or outwith common sense

    David Weston, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    I think that older, “experienced” drivers need to behave themselves when driving. The influence they have on their offspring is tremendous, especially when they are in their formative years (before they are old enough to drive) If young people see “adults” (ie parents) driving badly, they will take that as the norm, so what chance have they of driving responsibly once they have passed the driving test? I think a graduated licence is a good idea, but not restricting driving hours (ie at night). Some young people work unsocial hours for shifts etc, when there is little to no public transport in some areas.
    Engine size (power) restrictions would be better in the first couple of years.

    Ken G, Rishton
    Agree (9) | Disagree (1)

    I think we need to change the law when it comes to new drivers especially the young ones I live in the town centre and young drivers are a pain going around and around with noisy exhausts. We need to look at countries like New Zealand or Australia were they have to me good laws were it comes to young drivers. I’ve had 4 people die in my arms in road accidents when I was a lorry driver and some of the other stuff I’ve seen would shock you. I remember once working in a local town and the guy said his son just passed his test unfortunately the next day he killed him self showing off. I don’t think they realise that the car there driving could become a death machine and unfortunately I’ve seen it a few times. I remember an accident I did attend was a young driver the road was closed off and I was waiting to get to the accident to clear it up when a man stopped and asked me if he could get more information about it as his son was missing luckily for him it wasn’t his son but when I got to the accident I was shocked because I’ve never seen so much damage to a car and it was spread over a huge area he was speeding and hit something unfortunately he passed away from his injuries. I’ve seen my fair share of accidents not just on moterways but on single track roads. People don’t think when they get in there vehicles that it’s a privilege to drive but they just get in and drive and a presentage off people just don’t care because it won’t happen to me. I was a lorry driver for 21 years and I never took anything for granted and one day on a road I’ve driven for many years I met a gas tanker on a single track road I did everything to avoid it including hitting the rock face righting off my lorry and the gas tanker had a puncture and a few scrapes you can be as careful as you can but sometimes it just happens. All you need to do nowadays is look on YouTube and you will see the mentality of some people

    Steven Fraser, Elgin Morayshire
    Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

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