A report which was commissioned by the Government has suggested that UK motorists might have to wait until they are 18 before they take their test. Would this be a good thing?
To be honest, at 17 and 18 I was too concerned with trying to find a pair of jeans which made me look like one of the Happy Mondays (happily I failed) and shaving transparent fluff off my chin to worry about learning to drive. However, lots of youngsters still keenly await their 17th birthday so they can start driving.
Drivers Limited in the First Year
The theory behind this latest plan is that it might stop so many accidents happing involving young, inexperienced drivers. As well as not being able to take the test until 18, young drivers would also have certain limitations in the first year after their test.
For a start, the Department for Transport study says that young drivers would need 120 hours worth of supervised practise and that 20 of those hours would need to be at night. After passing their test drivers under 30 then would carry a green P plate. They also couldn’t carry passengers under 30 or drive between 10pm and 5am without an old codger in the car with them rattling on about the war or how modern music is rubbish and how Bez was the world’s greatest dancing fool.
This initiative comes amid growing concerns about the number of accidents involving young drivers. At the moment, drivers under 24 make up about 8% of the UK driving population but are around 25% of those who are killed in traffic accidents. The research suggests that these changes (along with some other restrictions which would apply to everyone) could cut deaths by over 40 a year and casualties by almost 4,500.
Does this sound like a good idea to you? Schemes like this have worked elsewhere so why not in the UK as well?