Young drivers 'could face passenger restrictions'

Driver's L plate being ripped up Newly-qualified drivers could face restrictions on the passengers they can carry

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Ministers may consider moves to ban young drivers in England and Wales from carrying anyone except family members as passengers, reports suggest.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the Daily Telegraph he was looking at ways of reducing road deaths involving newly-qualified motorists.

Insurers believe peer pressure on young drivers can lead them to take risks.

The Department for Transport says the issue is being considered but there are "no plans" for legislation.

The Association of British Insurers says drivers aged 17-24 are responsible for a disproportionately high number of crashes, deaths and claims.

It says an 18-year-old is more than three times as likely as a 48-year-old to be involved in a crash, and that a third of drivers killed in car accidents were under 25.

That was despite the fact that the under 25s form only one in eight of all car drivers.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr McLoughlin said he would consider measures put forward by the ABI which could cut the number of accidents involving young motorists.

Start Quote

Other countries have adopted these measures and their experience has shown that they're largely self-policing”

End Quote Malcolm Tarling Association of British Insurers

"I read regular reports where three or four young people have been killed in a car, and it's a new driver, and you wonder what happened," he told the newspaper.

"When I talk to young people who have recently passed their test, what they say sometimes is that peer pressure is put on them to go fast, to show off.

"They are not anticipating an accident, but something goes wrong. They are not drivers with a huge amount of experience by the very fact of their being new drivers. I think we have got to look at that.

"There is a suggestion as to whether you should look at a restriction whether anyone could carry passengers for six or nine months when they have first passed their test.

"There are suggestions about them only perhaps being allowed to take a family member to drive a car when you are learning, you have to have a qualified driver in the car. So these are all sorts of areas that I think we can look at."

It comes six weeks after the Association of British Insurers called for an overhaul in the system - suggesting people should spend a year learning to drive and urging the introduction of a graduated licence for the first six months after passing a test.

ABI spokesman Malcolm Tarling denied that a restriction on who young drivers could carry as passengers would be difficult to enforce.

He said: "In terms of policing, you could use that argument for just about anything, really.

"Other countries have adopted these measures and their experience has shown that they're largely self-policing.

"Of course there will always be people who will look to avoid the law, but the reality is if you impose something like this, and encourage people to follow it, international experience has shown that that is exactly what people do."

But Neil Greig from the Institute of Advanced Motorists said forcing young motorists to carry only family members with them in the car would not necessarily make them safer drivers.

"Young drivers themselves admit that they are lacking experience, but we don't believe that restricting people - such as curfews at night and restricting the number of passengers they can carry - is the way to develop that experience.

"They need the opportunities to get to learn, by doing these things, by carrying young people, by going out at night - how else can they learn?"

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Improving the safety and ability of young drivers is a key priority for the government, which is why we have made the driving test more realistic - and are also considering how to improve training for drivers after they pass their test.

"There are no plans to introduce graduated licensing in England and Wales.

"However, we are working with young people, the insurance industry, and other key partners to identify what more can be done to ensure that newly qualified drivers are properly prepared and drive safely.

"We will consider carefully any ideas that reduce the risks of accidents involving young drivers."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 343.

    Advanced Motorists: " else can they learn?"
    So just carry on as we are then? Some learn the hard way, some die the hard way?
    That is true ostrich mentality, I cannot understand it from such a body, you'd think they would be in favour of more supervised experience (they might even make some money out of it).

  • rate this

    Comment number 342.

    337. v NForce

    Sorry lad but the crash statistics simply do not bear that out

  • rate this

    Comment number 341.

    The suggestion that a family member must be with the young driver all the time is utterly rediculous. Outside of the cities public transport is non-existant. How are the young supposed to get to work? The car test needs to be harder with compulsory training. I am suspicious of anything touted by the ABI whos main concern is its members profits.

  • rate this

    Comment number 340.

    "The Association of British Insurers says drivers aged 17-24 are responsible for a disproportionately high number of crashes, deaths and claims."

    I am 23 and have never had an accident in my life. Stop punishing me for something I haven't done, you greedy scumbags.

  • rate this

    Comment number 339.

    Can we have some real news bbc...How stupid do YOU think we are!!!
    As a TV licence holder i require news stories.I may stop paying it and will quite happily go to GAOL for it...

    This story is not worthy of being called news,How dumbed down are you......................................................................................................

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    Imagination works better than rules. Make a staged crash scene part of the test: stand next to a crashed vehicle exchanging addresses with injured parties, reluctant witnesses, filling in forms then getting an unbelievable quote for future insurance. Basically a trimmed down version of emergency service training.

  • rate this

    Comment number 337.

    I'd really like to see the statistics behind this. It is really biased and extremely unfair to us 17/18 year olds. I've noticed that there's been a fair few accidents during the year that I've been driving, but out of them numbers, rarely is there one involving us "kids"! Countless number of my friends are on the road now and if anything the majority of us are the safest on the road!

  • rate this

    Comment number 336.

    "Fit tachos to all young drivers' vehicles"
    A nice idea in principle, but what about those young drivers who don't like Mexican food?

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.

    An instructor teaches you to pass your test.It is the amount of extra driving (usually with family ) which teaches you how to drive to anticipate hazards ,accommodate other road users and cope with adverse weather and road conditions.It is disturbing that you can be in charge of a car with 40 hours of driving tuition -young or old.

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    Completely pointless discussion as any new legislation is - like the mobile phone ban - unenforceable except AFTEr and accident.

    Waste of bandwidth
    Politician wittering.

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

    The thing is, we can put as many restrictions in place as we want and the same old people will ignore them and the reality is the police wont know who's who.

    We have too many uninsured drivers on the road, more restrictions will make that worse and I dont want to be hit by someone without insurance,..

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    This proposal is certainly worth considering! It is so often the case that when I see a car being driven like a total maniac, it's a young driver at the wheel with a car full of his/her friends on board - let's face it, driving sensibly and within the speed limit just isn't cool so there is definite peer pressure to take unnecesssary risks on the road! However, this is obviously nothing new!

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    They have a provisional licence system in New Zealand - It seems to work well.

    Looking at the stats in this article how can you not think it is a good idea?

    I also think that a shorter probationary period should apply to people who come here from overseas. The rules could easily be applied to tourists and immigrants.

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    when I learned to drive, my dad took me out before I got lessons, and taught me how to drive properly. When I took my test I failed first time, as "I could drive exceptionally well and it's a shame to fail you because you didn't drive like a learner". In my lessons not once did I drive at night, on a motorway etc. I'm lucky my dad showed me these after passing..Make them part of lessons!

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    As a young driver, I think despite the obvious risks imposing limits is not the way to teach people to drive safely. I live near on of the most dangerous road in the country but I feel I would not be the confident driver I am now if i hadn't driven a lot late a night with all my friends in the car and having experienced this freedom I doubt I would even obey a law suggested like this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.

    This is soo stupid, why are we all being treated as a majority, when we are all our own person, i have been driving for 6 months and never crashed, because im a safe driver, if you have a crash then maybe this could come into play but for us that never crash and are paying Loades ------------------------

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    John Kirriemuir

    Half the point of getting a set of wheels as young as possible is so you can impress the chicks on Evesham High Street on a Friday night and pick one up for va va voom."

    And it wouldn't stop them as most of those kids on Evesham High Street are probably all related anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    Sounds like a good idea but unworkable.
    Police aren't going to know wether it's family or not.
    Maybe they should raise the age at which people are allowed to drive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    European driving licence is a recipe for disaster.

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    Pt 2
    Clearly, many feel free to ignore road rules. Penalties, often only imposed after an accident, seem extremely lenient. IMO, if a motorist drinks & drives &/or exceeds the speed limit & consequently causes the death of another person, they should never drive again. Cars are potentially lethal & should be handled accordingly.


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