Department for Transport
Government looks at steps to make new drivers safer
Road safety action plan to explore if graduated driver licences should be introduced in England.
- graduated driver licensing is being explored further in a bid to cut new driver crashes
- research will look at the impact of limiting what less experienced drivers can do in their first few months on the road
- part of the Department for Transport’s upcoming two-year road safety action plan
New drivers could face limits on what they can do on the road, to ease them into a lifetime of safe driving.
The government will commit in its road safety action plan, to be published later this week, to explore further whether graduated driver licensing — or a similar scheme — should be introduced in England.
These schemes could put 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.
One in 5 new drivers crashes within their first year on the road, and so any changes would be designed to help reduce this number and improve road safety.
Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis yesterday said:
We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at ways to make them safer.
Getting a driving licence is exciting for young people, but it can also be daunting as you’re allowed to drive on your own for the first time.
We want to explore in greater detail how graduated driver licensing, or aspects of it, can help new drivers to stay safe and reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.
Graduated licensing schemes already operate in New Zealand; New South Wales and Victoria in Australia; New York and California in the USA; Ontario and British Columbia in Canada and in Sweden.
Previously these schemes have been rejected due to concerns that it would adversely affect the ability of young people to get on in life — potentially restricting education and jobs.
However, conducting further research means the Department for Transport can build an evidence base to fully understand how graduated driver might work.
Currently, new drivers have their licences revoked if they accumulate 6 points within the first 2 years — equivalent to points for using a handheld mobile phone while driving or 2 speeding offences.
The government changed the driving test in December 2017 to reflect modern-world driving conditions, including adding a satellite navigation section.
Learner drivers are now also allowed to travel on motorways with an approved driving instructor to acclimatise new drivers to these roads.
Motorcyclists in the UK have a similar scheme to graduated driver licensing as young bikers are restricted to less powerful bikes.
Any changes to licensing will be consulted on before being introduced.
Roads media enquiries
Media enquiries 020 7944 3021
Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292
Switchboard 0300 330 3000
Latest News from
Department for Transport
West Coast marks new partnership model for rail14/08/2019 12:10:00
New trains, more seats, simplified fares and more frequent services on the West Coast Main Line.
Over one million people to save hundreds, as new 16-17 Saver launches, cutting cost of rail travel for teenagers14/08/2019 11:10:00
New 16-17 Saver guarantees half-price rail travel for young people.
Government doubles funding for on-street electric car charging12/08/2019 11:05:00
Additional £2.5 million for chargepoints on residential streets.
Activation of Bellwin Scheme and cash boost for Whaley Bridge12/08/2019 10:26:00
Local communities and businesses impacted by last week’s heavy rain and flooding will have access to £5.25m to support their recovery.
Ministers visit Dover to ensure UK ports are ready for Brexit08/08/2019 16:07:00
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Home Secretary and Transport Secretary visit port to see Brexit preparations.
UK joins international maritime security mission in the Gulf06/08/2019 12:12:00
The United Kingdom has reaffirmed its commitment to freedom of navigation and safe passage through the Gulf.
£24 million to beat rush hour traffic in Wokingham approved05/08/2019 10:10:10
New development to reduce congestion, boost employment and promote greener forms of travel.
HMS DUNCAN arrives in the Gulf29/07/2019 13:20:00
Royal Navy vessel HMS DUNCAN has arrived in the Gulf, where she will support the safe passage of British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz along with HMS MONTROSE.