Road Safety News

DfT rules out restrictions on learner drivers

Monday 20th February 2012

According to RAC Motoring News, the DfT has decided against placing restrictions on young drivers, opting instead for improvements to the way people learn to drive and the driving test.

Proposals put forward to address the young driver issue have included placing a curfew on when they can be on the road and restricting the number of passengers they can carry. There have also been calls for a graduated licensing scheme.

However Paul O'Sullivan, head of road safety at the DfT, said these initiatives would be counter-productive for young drivers who work or study at night and need to drive to do so.

He said: "If you ban carrying passengers among young groups you will get more young drivers on the road. It doesn't sit with the designated driver schemes or with car sharing, and police enforcement would be difficult.

"The Government is not keen to take liberties away unless there is a very strong case for doing so."

Mr O'Sullivan said that instead the DfT will improve driving tuition and the driving test and revamp the Pass Plus scheme.

Click here to read the full RAC Motoring News report.


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Yes black boxes help - but not for the sizeable number of uninsured young drivers or those who are dodging the insurance rules on the back of parents' policies. I'm also not too sure if all black boxes can count passengers?

The arguments used against introduction of legal passenger restrictions do not hold too much weight in my view. There is clear evidence that in the hours after 11pm there are far too many 4 or 5 casualty related accidents, often with vehicles leaving the road or overtaking. If we homed in on those and made the restriction very precise (e.g perhaps one passenger would be OK, 2 not OK), including exemptions for work related trips then we would see an improvement.
Pete, Liverpool

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Talk about one rule for all. Not in this century. Not in this freedom loving country.

We cannot deny that we are aware of the dangers posed by young car drivers and the fatalities and injuries they subject upon themselves and others too. And then we go on to say that we cannot take their liberties and rights away from them.

One rule for the car driver.... another for that minority or minority groups, the motorcyclist or scooter rider, who with the intervention of new measure has to jump through numerous hoops from the age of 16yrs, through to a full licence and rigorous testing before 21 or 24 yrs of age.

Not only that but if Brussels had their way, from 2015 we won't be able to maintain our own bikes, not even put the oil in the engine and certainly not buy any parts others than those manufactured by the manufacturers of the bike. And we won't be able to improve the bike with better braking or tyres or quieter exhausts and we will be required to have a 10cm by 15cm day glo/reflective patch somewhere on our attire. We won't be able to ride anything over 100 BHP. not thats any problem as we can still kill ourselves at 100 mph instead of 150 mph.or a combined speed of well over 200 mph.

These are only a few things that are restricting the liberty and value of life of twv owners but it's of little consequence as we only represent about 1% of the motoring public.
bob craven Lancs

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The insurance industry is now enacting this anyway through their variable and black box insurance policies. This fast growing sector even has its own comparison website at The insurance industry bases their levels of weighting and restrictions on use/passengers etc on detailed risk analysis - the highest risk times, behaviours and recorded driving styles attract the highest premiums.

Thus the insurance market and the driver's ability to pay the premiums will govern how and when young drivers drive.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

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