Young drivers have historically been given a bad name and new statistics suggests why this is.
On average, 33 people are losing their licence each day in the UK with nearly 70% of these being new drivers between the ages of 17 and 24.
It isn’t surprising that new drivers often have to pay a higher insurance premium, and younger drivers even more so.
Why are so many people losing their licence?
The statistics follow the introduction of the New Driver Act that was put into practice in 2018. Some may believe that the act is unfair on new drivers, but all new drivers have a responsibility to keep the roads as safe as possible.
Under the act, if a new driver obtains six points on their licence in a two year period (within two years of passing) their licence will be revoked.
However, this doesn’t mean that the new driver is banned forever, instead, the driver is banned temporarily and has to apply for their provisional licence again.
After they have obtained their provisional licence, they will then need to retake their theory test and practical driving test and pass these before being allowed back on the roads.
Are the new rules fair?
It is difficult to argue with the statistics that show young drivers are the most dangerous group when compared to others. For example, those aged between 17 and 24 make up just 7% of drivers on the road, yet the age group make up 20% of serious injuries or deaths on UK roads.
With numbers like this, it is easy to see why extra precautions need to be taken.
Whether the New Driver Act is the most successful method of giving extra protection to road users or not is debatable, and the act hasn’t yet been in place long enough for a true conclusion to be made.
Will I be penalised for being a new driver?
If you are looking to take your test in the near future then it is likely that you may have to adhere to additional rules initially.
Whether or not the New Driver Act will remain is unknown, especially as the UK is currently in a potential parliamentary transitional period.
With the future of the UK’s laws uncertain, a new act or regulations may be introduced for new drivers. There has been some talk of introducing a graduated licence scheme with an ongoing trial in Northern Ireland set to end in 2020.
This trial could lead the way for new rules and regulations in the UK for new drivers. The trail is based on similar schemes that have been put in place in other parts of the globe and have been fairly successful.
What would a graduated licence scheme look like?
Although it is currently difficult to say what the exact structure of the scheme would be (as these vary globally), the road safety charity Brake has given us some idea of how this could look. Brake support the idea of the UK introducing a scheme like this.
Furthermore, they have called on the UK government to consider making it a legal requirement for all new drivers to spend 12 months learning to drive before they are allowed to take a test. This isn’t all that Brake wants to see if the scheme is introduced, they also want the government to consider introducing a curfew for new drivers.
This would mean that new drivers would only be allowed on the roads between certain times.
Finally, Brake believes that drivers should be given a two year probation period once they are given their licence, and only be able to graduate to a full unrestricted licence after two years of safe driving.