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.