New driver licensing recommendations

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New car drivers are to be bound by a list of tough regulations designed to stop the number of accidents they ar einvolved in, a House of Commons Transport Committee has said. In a report released today, the committee said a series of new regulations and restrictions on new drivers were in order.
The 65-page report makes a series of recommendations to reduce the disproportionately high accident rate among young drivers. These include:
• A mandatory and continuous development programme for driving instructors.
• A 12-month compulsory learning period – raising the minimum age for getting a full licence and driving unaccompanied to 18.
• This period would have a structured syllabus, with instructors required to sign off each module throughout the year. Learners will not be able to apply for a test until all modules are complete.
• Learners would be required to take a pre-determined number of hours of tuition at different points during the one-year period, to prevent training being ‘bunched’ in blocks by learners, and to ensure a broader experience of road, weather and lighting conditions.
• A reform of the test, allowing trainee drivers to drive on motorways and high speed roads, and to allow drivers to use a greater variety of roads (including rural roads, high speed roads with bends, turning right off a main road into a side road). To be guided by research into the cause of novice driver collisions.
• A reduction of the legal blood alcohol limit from 0.8g/l to 0.2g/l for novice drivers. This would effectively allow novice drivers to consume zero alcohol before driving.
• Prohibiting novice drivers carrying passengers aged 11 to 20 from 11pm to 5am.

The Committee has not revealed how the report could affect motorcyclists. MCN is currently investigating the effects on new riders – see MCN July 25 issue for the Transport Committee’s response to MCN.

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Chris Newbigging

By Chris Newbigging