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Do you deserve a licence to drive?

09:19 UK time, Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Inexperienced drivers should be banned from night driving to reduce the risk of accidents, according to researchers. Does the driving test need an overhaul?

Cardiff university researchers said "graduated driver licensing" for those aged 17-24 could save more than 200 lives and result in 1,700 fewer serious injuries each year.

This follows concerns of UK police about the safety of elderly drivers, who they claim are far more likely to be involved in low speed collisions, often caused by failing eyesight or confusion over the car's controls.

Does the driving test need modernising? Should there be restrictions for new drivers? Should elderly motorists retake a test? Should all drivers be made to renew their licences? What is required to hold a licence in your country, and are there restrictions on young or older drivers?

Traffic Cops: Age Old Problem, on the BBC iPlayer

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    I think its a good idea for restrictions on young drivers. Too many people are passing a test and then driving hoiw they want to, and not how they should and have been taught to drive.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hardly any people are fit to drive these days. Too much road rage. Seriously people, give over.

  • Comment number 3.

    I can't see why newly qualified motorists shouldn't follow the same restrictions as new motorcyclists (most of them, anyway). Their vehicles are power-restricted for two years.

    By restricting the vehicle's power, enforcemment is simpler. Of course, it is possible to cheat, to have someone illegally remove the restriction but that seems less of a problem than trying to catch newly-qualifieds driving at night or carrying passengers.

    Some new drivers will need to drive at night. If public transport is anything like round our way, then a car is essential. They may need to carry a passenger. All possible with a power-restricted vehicle.

  • Comment number 4.

    Young people are quite simply unprepared for the responsibility of driving. It is well known: young men in particular think with their testicles and not their still-developing brains.

    And similarly for elderly. With the best will in the world, their mental abilities start to slow down and eventually fail to be sufficient for driving. After the age of about 70 they should be subjected to an annual simple test of eyesight and reaction speed which their GP could administer in 5 minutes.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'd have thought that those young people charging around at night causing accidents are also the ones that are much more likely to ignore a ban.

    I don't believe there are more accidents simply because its dark - its much more logical to assume that young people charge around at night because the roads are clearer and the opportunity to get a thrill from fast driving is much greater. ...I know thats the reason I used to!

    Won't this just leave it up to the police to commit even more resource to just stopping young people at night???

    Why not make the test much more challenging and make it the case that your license is revoked after 6 points for the first 5 years and a re-test is required to get it back.

  • Comment number 6.

    All road users should have to take an eye test at least every 10 years, It’s terrifying how many of my, middle aged, friends are in denial about the state of their sight. The when they cause a crash they become ‘safety campaigners’ … the other guy must have been driving ‘far too fast’.

    Also we need to bring the regulations (licence and 3rd party insurance) for push bike into line small motor bikes. If you let untrained people take to the road, and have no way of banning the most reckless, is it any surprise that they have a disproportionate number of crashes?

  • Comment number 7.

    I live in Spain. Every ten years you must renew your license, and to do this you have to take an eye test. This ensures that people with sight problems, more prevalent in the elderly, are only given a renewed licence if they pass.

    Regarding banning night time driving. What dross? How do you enforce it? Are the police going to stop every young person and ask to see their licence? You can do a lot more for safety by working harder on preventing drink driving and drug driving (as highlighted recently by George Michael).

    We need to see demographics. Right now we are told that 200 people die each year because 17-24 year olds drive at night time. How many deaths are caused by 25-44 year old drink drives? How many deaths are caused by reps sleeping at the wheel? How many deaths are caused by "new" drivers from other countries? And on and on and on.

    It seems to me that this study lacks serious depth. Oh yes, and how many businesses will go "bust" because 17-24 year olds cant go out after 4pm in winter?

  • Comment number 8.

    I deserve a licence to drive, but there are many who don't.

    e.g. so-called "petrolheads" who drive upmarket vehicles, and drive aggressively as if they own the road.

  • Comment number 9.

    We were all inexperienced at one time.

    If new drivers cannot drive under difficult challenging conditions how will they become experienced in coping with these conditions?

    One of the main problems faced by new/young drivers is motormouth passengers saying things like "put your foot down you wimp".

    These people should be treated as :Authors of their own misfortune" in the event of an accident. Rurthermore they should be held primarily responsible for any resulting accident.

    If this proposal is enacted I would advocate any new driver taking the PassPlus course and then not driving for the two years until unrestricted.

  • Comment number 10.

    Sure have some restrictions (such as a zero alcohol tolerance). But when I past my test, I used to drive mostly at nights since it was when there were least cars on the road, allowing me to get used to driving by myself.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Banning new drivers from driving at night would be a knee-jerk reaction to a particular statistic. Cars differ from public transport in that you can go anywhere at any time so why take this advantage away? The majority of young drivers manage to pootle along without flipping their car upside down through bus shelters, so why ban them from using their car in a responsible way? Also, at what arbitrary point would "night" be set? Sunset in summer may not be until quite late, whereas driving home in winter will have you in darkness by 6pm.

  • Comment number 13.

    Given the complete inability of the Police to enforce the ban on using mobile phones whilst driving, how precisely would they enforce the night time ban on young drivers.

    As with one of the previous posters I think something along the lines of "power restrictions" might be a better idea.

    I also think eye tests & medical check ups past a certain age should be brought in.

  • Comment number 14.

    Restrict driving and you restrict accidents, whatever age you pick on.

    As someone that has taken the advanced driving test, I think that all drivers should have to pass this test. There is so much more to driving than the current standard test.

    Educating people properly is the answer, not banning them.

  • Comment number 15.

    This seems like a catch-22 to me. If inexperienced drivers don't have the practice, when they do become so-called "experienced" drivers, they'll have no night driving experience. You will have inexperienced drivers accumulating no experience leaving only inexperienced drivers on the road.

  • Comment number 16.

    What an odd question!
    You deserve something if you have earned it in some way. How do deserve a driving license? By having a record of good driving? You can only do that once you have a driving license.

  • Comment number 17.

    I find driving at night easier so don't think this is the issue.

    I understand measures are already in place such as a probationary 2 years after passing the test when licences can be revoked and higher insurance for 17 - 24 year olds but I don' think this is enough.

    The driving age should be raised and no new driver allowed to drive anything over a 1000cc for a period of time after passing or reaching a certain age - perhaps 25.

    Younger drivers should not be allowed to drive their parents huge family cars.

    Inexperience is a key player in accidents so a graduated scheme would be a good idea.

    As for the elderly I think this needs addressing on an individual basis but driving 40 mph on the A1 is putting lives at risk as well as speeding does.

  • Comment number 18.

    Bah - the feral yoof of today etc etc repeat daily mail ad infinitum until last whinging breath...

    Anyhoo, unfashionable as it is to say ,most young people today are as responsible if not more so than previous generations - just look at the drink driving stats - its not the under 20s who think that they're invincible.

    So no, don't ban teenagers from driving in the dark - they've got learn sometime, and lets try to ignore the pressure from the Mail & Express to treat every young person as a potential criminal and start looking at them as individuals to be judged on their own merits.

  • Comment number 19.

    Once again we try and address symptoms and not causes. What about all those who are both young and responsible, who drive at night because they need to? Why should they be punished for the poor driving skills of the few?

    Restrict inexperience (not just the young, but those with the least driving experience) to lower powered vehicles.

    In this day and age, driving licences should be electronic and required to be inserted into an ignition before a car can be started. The data on the licence defines what you are and aren't allowed to drive. Not allowed to drive the car, car won't start. Using someone else's licence will get both banned automatically, and the police could do it at the side of the road with a simple hand held device.

  • Comment number 20.

    11. At 09:52am on 21 Sep 2010, Miss Ann Thrope wrote:
    Young people can't drive. This is a FACT
    Take away all of their licenses, make the roads a safer place


    Young people can't drive because they lack experience. Taking away their licences won't help, because when they get older they still wouldn't have the experience because the likes of you would've stripped them of their licence.
    Old drivers will be gone, you will grow old and so you'll be deemed unfit to drive so what does that leave the roads? With no single vehicle in sight.

    Actually, come to think of it, I wouldn't mind that. I hate cars and the pollution and the selfishness showed by people about caring more about petrol prices than the environment.

  • Comment number 21.

    11. At 09:52am on 21 Sep 2010, Miss Ann Thrope wrote:
    Young people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Old people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Take away all of their licenses, make the roads a safer place.


    No it's not.

    SOME young people can't drive properly
    SOME old people can't drive properly
    SOME women can't drive properly
    SOME men can't drive properly
    SOME 20 somethings can't drive properly
    SOME 30 somethings can't drive properly....

    See what I'm getting at?

  • Comment number 22.

    "Miss Ann Thrope wrote:

    Young people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Old people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Take away all of their licenses, make the roads a safer place.

    And neither can many in between. FACT.
    The worst drivers are the ones that think they are good. FACT.
    We all have to gain experience sometime. FACT.
    Old people are a problem sometimes - but not if other drivers, the genuinely good drivers, take the the trouble to be aware of the hazard and drive accordingly. FACT.

  • Comment number 23.

    • 6. At 09:49am on 21 Sep 2010, Ben Essada wrote:
    All road users should have to take an eye test at least every 10 years...

    Oh dear. I make a post about ‘poor eyesight’ and it’s full of obvious typos :-( Don’t you just hate this new HYS and the rush get posts into the top few without time for proper proof reading?

  • Comment number 24.

    Yes it is true many young drivers are dangerous, but I am not one of them. Its taking me a lot of money and time to pass my driving test and hearing that there going to make it harder, plus banning night time driving, its cruel for some that can drive just because a third are inconsiderate. The test is hard enough and saying I don't deserve the licence I will soon obtain is cold.

    At least I'm working for it, not like most of you when years ago, they simply gave them out like candy, the majority of drivers are middle aged and adults, if young drivers need restrictions, then so do all of you.

  • Comment number 25.

    I don't drive myself but it seems now as soon as you hit 17, a car is a must have. Young men especially do seem to get over excited & over estimate themselves.

    My question would be, if we want young people to become more experienced & therefore better drivers, how does it help by restricting the hours they drive, especially at night? They'll have to do it eventually!

  • Comment number 26.

    "3. At 09:46am on 21 Sep 2010, doctor bob wrote:
    I can't see why newly qualified motorists shouldn't follow the same restrictions as new motorcyclists (most of them, anyway). Their vehicles are power-restricted for two years."

    Absolutely agree.

    I don't know how driving lessons are run now. I would insist on a percentage of anyone's lessons being at night. I think a lesson on the motorway following a successful test now happens - if it doesn't, it should.

    Elderly drivers. The main problems seem to be to do with automatics. If someone decides to drive an automatic because there is less involved, but they haven't driven one before, I think a couple of lessons and a test should be obligatory.

    I know of people (older people) who drive automatics with both feet. Hence elderly drivers managing to compete with any young stunt driver with their vehicle's acrobatics.

  • Comment number 27.

    4. At 09:46am on 21 Sep 2010, shortfatbaldy wrote:
    Young people are quite simply unprepared for the responsibility of driving. It is well known: young men in particular think with their testicles and not their still-developing brains.

    And similarly for elderly. With the best will in the world, their mental abilities start to slow down and eventually fail to be sufficient for driving. After the age of about 70 they should be subjected to an annual simple test of eyesight and reaction speed which their GP could administer in 5 minutes.

    = = = =
    You raise an interesting point: once a vehicle is three years old it needs a mandatory roadworthiness test, the MOT. But what's the use in checking the roadworthiness of a vehicle when the DRIVER might not be roadworthy.

    Perhaps we should have a driver retest every, say, three years? (The gov should love this one: a nice money-spinner.)

    But it's no use complaining about the elderly. I'll bet the number of road deaths down to the elderly is a lot lower than those down to 17-21 year olds. If it weren't you can bet the insurance would be somewhat different. What we need are more speed restrictions (the present ones were set back in the mists of time) and superior road planning. I've long lost count of the times I thought "What idiot set out the roads like this?!!

  • Comment number 28.

    "21. At 09:59am on 21 Sep 2010, coolhandpaul wrote:
    '11. At 09:52am on 21 Sep 2010, Miss Ann Thrope wrote:
    Young people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Old people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Take away all of their licenses, make the roads a safer place.'


    No it's not.

    SOME young people can't drive properly
    SOME old people can't drive properly
    SOME women can't drive properly
    SOME men can't drive properly
    SOME 20 somethings can't drive properly
    SOME 30 somethings can't drive properly....

    See what I'm getting at?"


    She's got a point - if you took away EVERYBODY'S licence it would be REALLY safe.....!

  • Comment number 29.

    It is an absolutely stupid idea to banned inexperienced drivers from driving at night. Three main reasons. Firstly how are they to get experience of night driving if they aren't allowed to drive. Secondly it gets dark at different times throughout the year, so you would have the silly situation where a new driver who got a job in the summer months, would find in winter they couldn't drive to work as it got dark at 4pm. Thirdly it is not enforceable.

  • Comment number 30.

    Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

  • Comment number 31.

    Young Drivers

    No need for a night time ban. But:

    No provisional licence until 18 - like the rest of Europe.

    Go Scandinavian with pre-licence off road courses from about age 14. There was something on TV about this a few weeks ago.

    Limit engine size and power/weight ratio for 2 years (as someone suggested above after passing test. Enforce it for another 2 years if driver has more than 2 motoring offences within the first 2 years.

    Make 'Pass Plus' compulsory for all drivers within 2 years of passing the practical test.

    Older Drivers

    No compulsory retest (unless they're caught doing something really stupid/dangerous/illegal). But:

    Refresher courses (compulsory) every 5 years starting at age 60.

    A full medical (not by own GP) every 2 years after age 70.

    Not sure what some of the commentators I've heard are banging on about re. 'complexity' of modern cars being too much for older drivers. When I learned to drive (a very, very long time ago), cars were far more difficult to drive than they are now. The car I learned on had no synchromesh gearing, so I had to double-declutch all the time. No servo assisted brakes, no power steering, no cruise control. And rear wheel drive (more difficult than FWD in bad conditions - though personally I regret its passing). I now drive a 3 year old Vectra and the most complicated thing about it is the radio/CD.

  • Comment number 32.

    Of course an initial test is necessary but making tests harder are a waste of time. The main cause of accidents is temperament. No test can detect those who will get impatient, drive too fast, show off or be distracted. Many young men are good at actually driving and can easily pass the test but no examiner can predict what will happen later.
    Most youngsters have an accident within a few months it could easily and cheaply be the law that all drivers display a green L plate for a year after passing. The expense would be minimal and other drivers would treat these people with a little extra caution. Now it is optinal and most youngsters won't display these because they are too proud. If it was the law and insurance was only valid if they were used then all new drivers would use them
    Banning driving at night is crazy, might be OK in a country nearer the equator but in Scotland if you pass in the summer you could drive for 22 hours a day in winter it would be about 3 or 4 hours at midday!!

  • Comment number 33.

    "Inexperienced drivers should be banned from night driving to reduce the risk of accidents, according to researchers."

    no, but night and motorway driving should be mandatory components of driver training. some of our continental neighbours require a minimum standard of competence far higher than the UK, we ought to emulate them.

  • Comment number 34.

    In Australia there are many restrictions for new drivers like you have to show "P" plates for two years to warn other drivers. They come in two colours, one allows the new driver to drive at a max speed of 50MPH on any road and the other (issued a year later) allows 60MPH when they are more experienced.

    If we had the same type of restrictions here the death rate would be a lot less i think. Anyone caught exceeding their speed or breaking restrictions receives a ban. its as simple as that.

    So many young kids passed their tests, yet are not complitant behind the wheel. We are giving them access to lethal weapon which may not just kill them but others as well.

  • Comment number 35.

    Does the driving test need modernising?
    YES. At the moment all they teach you to do is how to Pass the test, not How to drive.

    Should there be restrictions for new drivers?
    NO. The whole point of taking your driving test and then paying the huge amounts for insurance is so that you can go out on the road, gain your independence and have the freedom to go where ever you want. I cannot believe Cardiff University would put forward such a stupid idea which is completly un-inforceable and so against young people.

    Should elderly motorists retake a test?
    YES. Once you reach retirement age you must take your test again. Supposedly statistics say old people are better drivers and have less accidents, well that because they cause other people to have them with their driving and then leave the scene completly oblivious!

    Should all drivers be made to renew their licences?
    NO. This would be impossible and just another revenue scheme for the governement and DVLA, who frankly have enough money.

    I am 20, have been driving since I was 17 and a half. My insurance costs me enough and I need my car to get to Uni and work and anything else I need to do. I have driven to Germany and back unscathed, it was actually a lovely experience. I am sick and tired of a few bad youngsters who make stupid decisions, tarring the rest of us good young drivers who take care in our cars and how we drive. But if anything, I do think driving penalties for serious offenses such as drink driving or killing someone through dangerous driving should be upped and enforced rigerously.

  • Comment number 36.

    Are there enough police to enforce this? Its not the young drivers that scare me I know two middle aged men who were both banned for drunk driving and both just carried on driving and never got caught. it makes me wonder how young men you see driving BMWs around even have a licence until we put more police on our roads young and old will get away with breaking the law on our roads

  • Comment number 37.

    We-e-e-ell here we go again, ban something because it seems a good idea as suggested by some dimwitted bunch of researchers.
    What about the young person who has a night-shift job and needs to drive because there's no public transport at 3 in the morning? What's he supposed to do, chuck in his job? And what about winter-time? Young people can drive to work in the morning-light but then can't drive home again because it's dark?! What absolute drivel! We do have some dumb people in our society, to come up with these ideas!
    At this rate, the entire younger generation will end up immobilised because of crass, ill-informed researchers and equally pithy-brained do-gooders. The man whose daughter died, yes I'm sorry but your reaction is highly emotional.....understandable but it's not appropriate to mess up everyone else's life because of it.

  • Comment number 38.

    I think there is a strong case for restrictions on younger drivers. When I was 17 I would have been totally against such a policy but with the wisdom of age I can see that I was an accident waiting to happen. By no means are all young men terrible drivers but certainly a substantial proportion are. It does seem to be mainly a male problem, maybe hormonal, maybe peer pressure but whichever it is the results are the same. I think a restriction on passengers and night driving would be a sensible start. I do not think that it should be retrospective though. If a young person has passed the test already it would be grossly unfair to apply restrictions after the event and possibly cost them their job or disrupt their further education.

    I think we need a much more stringent test too. Most drivers get a licence having never driven above 50MPH, never driven a powerful car and never been on a motorway and never driven anything bigger than a pea.

    All too aften I have seen drivers, and not just young men, who plainly should never have passed a driving test. The problems they display are fundamental and not due to lazy driving styles but simply because they plainly have absolutely no idea how to drive or handle a vehicle. Their observation is near zero and they have no ability to see dangerous situations until too late. Elderly drivers can be a bit of an irritation with their lack of speed awareness and inablity to judge braking and distances but generally (not universally) speaking they are more annoying that unsafe. Where things get unsafe is when they have developed a queue 2 miles long behind their car and people, due to human nature, make silly decisions in order to get past them. This is especially so when it's inexperienced drivers attempting such maneuvers. I think that re-tests for elderly drivers would be a very wise move, maybe every 3 years up to 80 and every year beyond. I'm sure medical folks would be able to advise on the rate of deterioration of abilities and come up with a sensible regime.

    The main arbiter of what is an is not acceptable driving should be traffic police bringing lousy drivers before the courts but of late this seems to be secondary to revenue collection. Of course gross speeeding is dangerous but I think that concentration on this one aspect is a primary cause of very poor driving standards not being dealt with. You can do as you please provided you don't drive past speed trap too fast. Driving down a residential street at 30MPH between parked cars is vastly more dangerous than doing 100mph down an empty motorway, especially if you didn't even notice the children with the football on the pavement..

  • Comment number 39.

    Any restrictions on drivers are useless unless they are policed properly. Locally our police ignore a certain section of our driving community when they break minor rules, ie seat belts, mobile phones, etc, because they don't want to be seen to be harassing them, (HYS rules prevent me from naming who they are).
    In general we have a vast number of drivers who are on the roads illegally who are driving without insurance and yet the police pick-up rate is very low, what chance is there of them catching drivers who are not 'night qualified'?

  • Comment number 40.

    i believe people who drive people carriers and these big jeep like cars should be made to take a different test, i see far too many people especially young small females who have a hard job seeing the road in front of them, they feel untouchable being so high from the ground safe in the knowledge that they will be safe in an accident, drivers who drive vans and other heavy vehicles must have a different licence so why not the same for people driving larger over sized cars

  • Comment number 41.

    Well, if we're going to discriminate against one group, could I also suggest making the following take regular driving tests:

    1. Parents who usually only drive during the school run
    2. All minicab drivers

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Because I could neither afford nor required a car I didn't learn to drive until I was 25. How could any policeman passing my car in his know that I hadn't been driving for 8 years rather than 8 weeks and that I shouldn't be carrying passengers, driving at night etc?

    There is absolutely no point passing new laws that can't be enforced. A more practical solution (and one that doesn't cost the public anything) is a scheme carried out by certain insurance companies where a tracker that monitors speed, time and location is put is in the car and premiums reduced in exchange for ensuring the speed limit isn't broken, the car isn't driven after 11pm etc. While some will scream 'big brother! no privacy anymore' driving a car isn't a basic human right and if you don't want tracked then pay £2000+ in premiums.

    Incidentally older drivers cause very, very few fatal accidents. Most old people who maybe should be thinking about giving up their licences drive at 25mph to the post office or supermarket. It might be a bit irritating to get stuck behind them but they're not going to kill anyone either.

  • Comment number 44.

    11. At 09:52am on 21 Sep 2010, Miss Ann Thrope wrote:
    Young people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Old people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Take away all of their licenses, make the roads a safer place

    You're having a laugh. Impatience and arrogance causes the most accidents--FACT, so it looks as though you shouldn't be on the road

  • Comment number 45.

    The crazy thing is that you take your test in the daytime in usually good weather conditions ; mine was cancelled becuase it was snowing !! so therefore you have no experience of night driving , fog , ice , floods etc and let loose to cause mayhem. How many letter P do you see ? once again not many care and you have a licence to kill , these restrictions should have been introduced years ago.

  • Comment number 46.

    30. At 10:09am on 21 Sep 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

    Yes, but that may have something to do with the fact that on a 40mph speed limit road I normally drive at 40mph.

    Personally I'd pass a law banning any vehicle that is mechanically unable to achieve the speed limit for the road in perfect weather from using that road (and the fact that I was stuck behind one of those stupid electric G-wizz things that was doing 38mph on the right hand lane of a 60mph dual carriageway is entirely coincidental......... )

  • Comment number 47.

    Young people should be able to drive wherever and whenever they want. I passed my test in the 80's and there were no restrictions on me, so why should there be now? That said, a limit of say a 1000cc car for the first 3 years would not be a bad thing. It would allow the sensible young drivers to convey their friends etc and prevent the small lunatic fringe of young male idiots from driving like maniacs.

  • Comment number 48.

    Year upon year we are telling young people that the can't do this and can't do that. I even heard that the Scottish government is considering raising the age for alcohol to 21 years. We were all young and many youngsters save for their first car and it is probably their first significant purchase.

    What we need are night time speed limits and teenagers to lose their license on the first offence along with the forfeiting their car. You will never stop young men driving fast but you can make them think twice about doing so.

    These researchers are saying that a nineteen/twenty year old can have a family, be fighting in the services, be a policeman/woman and a tax payer but cannot drive at night.

    There is a generalism that all new young drivers are dangerous and this is not the case.

    Young drivers do a good deal of picking up their parents from restaurants and pubs - this usually happens at night. Is the taxi industry sponsoring this research?

  • Comment number 49.

    Its the same problem a section of the population is penalised in the hope the authorities get lucky and reduce something
    Where as the problem lies with the authorities.
    Some suggestions, Why is it not an option for new drivers to spend an hour on a skid pan,
    Why are provisional drivers not checked for drugs in their system,
    Elderly drivers are to be checked for eye sight but some elderly drivers can drive safer than a driver who has had drugs in his system that over time reduces his reactions permanently.
    Every newly qualified driver should be forced to drive a reliant 3 wheeler for a year. this would introduce him to motion, momentum, G forces and all the other unseen forces on a car. Ban computer driving software drivers now seem to thing they can slot into a stream of traffic without causing disruption.
    Is there going to be a new driving code for electric vehicles.
    How long before electric vehicles are seen to be a danger on the road because of there inability to keep up with petrol cars
    Its not enough to penalise the young driver or target the older driver, change has got to come from the industry getting motorists off the road will only leave more room for the idiots to play

  • Comment number 50.

    This is sensible. Why not introduce a compulsory re-test every 10 years. This has the merit of:

    + giving the government more money

    + potentially improving driver skills

    + weeding out those without the license and making a financial benefit to the community.

    Why not I have no fear of doing the test again and I drive 20,000 miles a year.

  • Comment number 51.

    Because I learned to drive in the winter time, much of my driving instruction took place in the dark, so to me it was a perfectly normal driving environment because I'd encountered it. By contrast, my mother, even with many years driving experience, hated driving in the dark.

    Many accidents involving young drivers are due to the "it can't happen to me" belief that we all have at that age, plus lack of experience. The hazard perception test that was introduced goes some way to address this but ultimately mistakes will still be made. A complete ban on driving at night would be counter-productive, because the only way to gain experience is to drive, but I could see that a training logbook as mentioned elsewhere might be a good way of allowing driving with restrictions until experience is gained and a full licence awarded. At present one can pass a test and go straight out on a motorway unsupervised, with no prior experience of driving on that class of road - a logbook method would allow a more controlled introduction to such things.

  • Comment number 52.

    I have to say that I have seen some seriously bad driving recently. A recent journey along a very crowded M6 round Birmingham with overtaking HGV drivers testing their Michael Schumacher moves on small cars alongside them scared the life out of me. As for youngsters in their hatchbacks - a testosterone (it is usually young males) fuelled sense of bravado and invincibility combined with lack of driving experience adds up to trouble.

    Banning night driving for youngsters will solve nothing. I do not think that it is enforceable.

    I think that the Pass Plus course, with part of the course including night driving, should be a compulsory additional driving exam before a full licence can be granted.

    In addition, the penalties for driving without a valid licence or valid insurance should be increased to level where it gets these drivers off of our roads for good. I suggest a 5 year driving ban plus a £5,000 fine (or 1,000 hours unpaid community work) AND a 5 year prison or youth custody sentence with the Judge having an option to suspend all or part of the prison sentence.

    Improving the skills of our new drivers and getting unlicensed and uninsured drivers off of our roads will not solve everything but it should help to improve the accident rate and that should help reduce the insurance premiums for all drivers.

  • Comment number 53.

    My soap box time, held UK licence 25 years, including HGV1 & PSV 1, driven on mainland Europe also held class 1 Operators Licence in Canada,(Heavy haul trucks)differing combinations & managed transport fleet for major UK retail food company.
    Having returned recently to the UK I cannot believe the poor quality of driving I now see on UK roads, much of which reflects societies current lethargic approach to everything,
    Today I see drivers of all ages flouting the mobile hand held rule, overtaking using safe havens(Lined cheveroned areas) as a third lane to overtake in, people using the wrong gear selction to overtake, & labouring to overtake HGVs, overtaking on blind bends, the quality of reversing is deplorable, I thought to pass a UK test you at least had to be able to go backwards once!!
    Driving instruction is poor, & bad habits are the norm, and as for continental drivers over here, well have you got half an hour!!!
    Restrictions need to be passed on all drivers who are newly qualified, in particular regarding the power of the vehicle, size & capacity.
    THe occupancy level & driver curfews are great ideas but relistically unpolicable.
    The test needs to be more structured, in Canada I had to do a 45 minute presentation on the vehicle systems i.e. airbrakes,trailer axial movements, now I now we don't need to go as far as that, but being able to have a basic knowledge of what your getting into is important, again in Canada winterisation courses, for differing weather conditions, I think the course in the UK should involve seasonal testing, even skid pads as I did with my London Bus licence, to show how you get into thses situations & how you can get out of them, so many accidents are caused by inexperineced drivers getting into situations they have no idea how to address once the start to progress, & then panick ensues.
    You can sit in a simulator for as many hours as you like, but that will never prepare you for the real event,yes it will give you an idea, but circumstances & road conditions never fit the simulator to a T.
    Thus you build up to a full licence, not here is your ticket off you go for life, much like a pilot, first becomes a co-pilot on his CPL, then moves on through exams to an ATPL & becomes in command.
    The driving licence, should be issued with restrictions, & as those add on courses, as I mentioned above you then become qualified in the restrictions are taken off.
    Then when you are on un unrestricted licence,you sit a check ride every five years, any failing you get restrictions replaced on your licence, any breaches of road traffic law during that window also places restrictions, you start hitting people in the pocket on road traffic breaches they soon learn.
    Namely the cc restriction is placed on the licence, caught over 100 mile an hour ban then a 1100cc restriction on the vehicle for 12 months, people having to change cars & lifestyles will soon address the situation, when young Johnny can't pull up outside his girlfriend in a beamer, but has a little mitsubishi colt CZ1!!
    The other aspect is the car industry needs to be more competive with automatic cars, some people just do not have the manual dexterity to drive manual gearbox cars, even when they pass a test, you see them struggling to selct gears, a majority of HGV's in the UK on major fleet users are automatic,& they are just as reliable to drive & certainly save ware & tear on the clutch & engine components.
    In north america most licence holders hold automatic licences & are restricted by the DVLA on entry to the UK, so if the UK can place restrictions on overseas drivers, they need to look domestically, you can't afford a whollier than though attitude of 'we do it best' in the UK when it comes to the 'loss of life.' through inadequate skills.

  • Comment number 54.

    17. At 09:55am on 21 Sep 2010, chezza100 wrote:
    The driving age should be raised and no new driver allowed to drive anything over a 1000cc for a period of time after passing or reaching a certain age - perhaps 25.

    I drive a 1.5 DCi Cleo, I'm 20, should I be driving a 1 litre Corsa?
    No. The amount of times the extra power has come in handy for getting my self out of a tricky situation on the motorway caused by the so called petrol/arrogant heads on the road, where a 1000cc engine just wouldn't cut it. My next car is going to be a 2.0 TDi Audi A3 and I can't wait, because I've earned it and am going to pay through the nose for it but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to have it.

  • Comment number 55.

    Its worth stressing that when the article says 'driving at night' it doesn't mean 'driving in the dark' (which in Glasgow in mid-winter can be half three in the afternoon). Several insurance companies ban new drivers from driving at night in exchange for reduced premiums and they define 'night' as after 11pm because there is a remarkable amount of fatal accidents with teenage drivers in the small hours of the morning.

  • Comment number 56.

    As I have said before, there should be personality tests as well. There are a lot of psychopaths out there who really shouldn't be allowed to be in charge of a deadly weapon. Just because one can point a car in the right direction, and know a few road signs doesn't automatically mean one should be allowed on the road. I know someone who has crashed his car 20 times in three years because of rage, nearly killing someone once. He should never have been allowed on the road. There are many many more people like him out there. I am in favour of restrictions though, not sure about night-time bans, but there should be compulsory lessons before being allowed on motorways; too many people don't realise it's a different ball-game.

  • Comment number 57.

    #11 - I think I see what you did there. This may be the reason I don't like facebook and texting. No context or expression.

  • Comment number 58.

    The ability of drivers to control the vehicle is not usually a problem in the case of young drivers or in old drivers unless they suffer from some infirmity. It is unfair to impose limitations on drivers because of their age regardless of their ability to drive.

    The main problem is that many drivers simply ignore the rules, apparently oblivious to the fact that this exposes them and other users of the road to serious danger. Drive along almost any main road in Britain for five minutes and you will see drivers tailgating, speeding, overtaking on the nearside on motorways and dual carrageways, weaving from lane to lane. The majority of drivers leave too little space between their vehicle and the one in front. These drivers are perfectly capable of driving safely but choose not to do so.

    The answer is plain clothes traffic police patrols equipped with cameras. The object should be make drivers aware of the danger involved in their style of driving, as well as to weed out the incompetent. First offenders should merely receive a stiff warning letter. Persistent offenders should progress through a series of stronger penalties and eventually lose their licences permanently.

  • Comment number 59.

    I tell you what, why don't they just ban eating, conversing, coughing, sneezing, ipods, smoking, sat navs, passengers and radios and just have done with it. Would they be happy then?

    The DLVA expect people to drive like robots. It's not going to happen. By mere definition human beings are incapable of remaining focused at all times. Anything could be considered a distraction. Like good looking women for instance! What? You gonna ban them from the side of the road too?

    Now I'm not saying that road safety must be improved as much as it possibly can, but where does it end eh? Someone suggested on here that the speed limit should be restricted. What?! Are you kidding me? 70 on a motorway is far too slow. The german's seem to be able to drive at speed. Why can't we? If anything there should be a MINIMUM speed limit for all the people that think its just fine and dandy to drive in the middle lane doing 50.

  • Comment number 60.

    People have crashes across the whole age spectrum, but these ages are targetted for good reason. Elderly drivers often get confused with todays fast pace on the roads and think that going everywhere at 30mph is "safe" driving. Young drivers have crashes because of various reasons. Inexperience, over-confidence, peer pressure and to "impress" the opposite sex to name but a few. It`s unrealistic and unworkable to ban night driving as they may work shifts or would have to use public transport in the winter. The elderly shoud have to take a retest at 65 to show they`re still competent to drive. Restricting inexperienced drivers to 1000cc cars would be a step in the right direction but another thought would be to not allow them to carry passengers in say, the first year.

  • Comment number 61.

    Restrict newly qualified drivers to 1000cc engines for 2x years, raise the age to 20 to able to take the driving test and stop anyone driving over the age of 80 as their resrictions are just too slow on todays roads.

  • Comment number 62.

    #31 - I like the idea of off road training centres for younger drivers - my Dad (Former Police Advanced Driver) taught me how to drive a car when I was 14 in a friend's field and I passed my test after 4 lessons. (He then taught me how to drive on the road).

  • Comment number 63.

    30. At 10:09am on 21 Sep 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

    Brilliant :D And so true..

  • Comment number 64.

    Another waste of research grants and another waste of HYS hot air. Look at the figures: In 1990, 5,200 dead and 60,000 seriously injured in the UK. In 2008, 2508 dead and 26,000 seriously injured.

    UK roads have never been safer, and the trend is continuing - back in 1930, how many cars were on the road? Yet 7,3000 people died in road accidents.

    Why don't you all pass, just this once, on the chance to blame the young / old / immigrants / whoever. Get back to your Horlicks and wait for the next chance to moan...

  • Comment number 65.

    Yes it's always possible to reduce accidents further.. if you baned people leaving thier homes altogether you'd bring the number right down... The point is, you have to balance these measures with maintaining freedom to do stuff!

    The suggested age range and restrictions are to me massively over prohibitive - when I was 24, I was married, had a full time job, paid tax, and would have been furious at the thought of someone telling me I was not yet grown up enough to drive a car whenever I wanted to.

    Our roads are some of the safest in the world, and on average are getting safer year on year. Yes you can always make things safer, however at what point along this line does it become a nanny state? I think an awful lot of voters between the age of 17 and 24 would say it becomes one way before this!

  • Comment number 66.

    Yes they should be restricted to smaller engine and restricted cars but they should also be banned from carrying out any form of customising their cars for at least 3 years.

    Most of the morons where I live pass their test and then go out and buy an old 1200cc car, they then proceed to put the loudest exhaust and the biggest wheels they can find on it, of course none of this does anything to enhance the cars performance but the idiots who do this thinks it does and then go on to drive the car like it was a Ferrari

    Well it’s not; the car they are driving like a maniac because it sounds loud does not have the handing, the brakes, the tyres or the technology to make it so and therefore they soon lose control of it because they are either driving to fast or taking bends to quickly.

    New drivers must learn that a car is a form of transportation and that they are on public roads with other road users and it is not a race track for them to show off in front of their mates.

    By the way I think all these silly aftermarket exhausts should be banned completely for cars, motorbikes and those silly 50cc scooters, as I have said they do very little for the performance but do have the effect of P***ing everyone else off who lives in the area especially at night which is the only reason these idiots fit them in the first place.

  • Comment number 67.

    Nobody deserves a license to drive. We have earned it by paying for the lessons and passing the tests.

    Road deaths are low and people still complain about drivers. If the real problems of the road were addressed then that figure would be a lot lower.

    Cyclists dont pass tests and they are the most incompetent road users I have ever seen. They are dangerous, do highly illegal manouvers and blame drivers when they get hit.

    Pedestrians are an entertaining mix of humans and lemmings as some poeple just walk into the road expecting cars to miraculously stop. Forgetting they have the best vantage point and the best manouverability to find a safe place to cross, they are the bane of drivers.

    I dont see why high power cars are on our roads and I dont agree with bad driving but they have yet to be shown as the cause of so many road deaths.

    There are many crashes and few deaths, yet when a pedestrian dies they are usually on the road.

  • Comment number 68.

    The problem is not young drivers, the problem is the test. Teaching young drivers to check every mirror every X many seconds and stay a consistent distance away from the kerb when reversing round a corner does not prepare them (arguably us, as a 22 year-old with nearly five years on my licence and no points) how to drive appropriately in the real world. The fact that learners can't drive on a motorway, even with an instructor, is a perfect example of how completely inadequate our current testing model is.

    Does that mean we should unnecessarily penalise already-persecuted young drivers with draconian legislation? No. We should just make the damn test relevant instead of being a long-standing joke - it's no secret that learning to drive starts after you have a full licence, up to that point it's about basic vehicle control and passing the test, not about learning to drive.

  • Comment number 69.

    7. At 09:49am on 21 Sep 2010, lacorunadavid wrote:
    I live in Spain. Every ten years you must renew your license, and to do this you have to take an eye test.

    Doesn't seem to make much difference as the accident rate is far higher in Spain. The fact is that although any accident is one too many, in the UK the road accident rate is lower than almost any country in the world so we must be doing something right. If the number of road miles are taken into account we are the safest. The number of deaths has dropped in the last few years
    So let's have the good news. Perhaps if the fact that we are safer than other countries was in the headlines people might take pride in this and behave even better. It's like dealing with children feeling proud of an an achievement is more productive than constant nagging

  • Comment number 70.

    I started driving at 17 and quickly passed my test. My first lesson was on a late October evening, so it was dark, and many of my other lessons were also in the dark. I had a good instructor, did a pass plus test and I am a confident driver, whom has not crashed in nearly 4 years of driving and not planning to either!

    I find it extremely unfair that people think its ok to punish the many with expensive extra tests and extra restrictions, which wont teach the new driver anything other then what they already know. The idea that this would extend until they are 24 is mortifying! That would mean that now, with nearly 4 years experience I would still have 4 more years to go until I could drive in the dark or with my friends or sister in the car. My lifestyle completely changed when I started driving, and so did my family's. I helped them out with errands and released the pressure of my mum who had run me and my sister to everything we had wanted to go to.

    All this because the few who cant follow the road laws and cause such pain and misery just don't see it coming. Its not the physical driving skills that the young drivers lack, but the awareness of the damage their actions can cause. I was acutely aware that my actions on the road had the power to cause a persons death, and this alone was enough to ensure I drive according to the law. The program 'Traffic Cops' (and the like) is a fantastic example of how to show young people about dangerous driving. It shows the consequences of so many dangerous actions of old and young drivers. Maybe this should be part of the driving test scheme, rather then just a pointless clicking hazard theory test and questions, which anyone with a good memory and reactions could do, why not have an additional compulsory viewing of a similar program (like they do on the course people can do when caught speeding). I personally am sometimes tempted to look at my phone when driving, but one of the programs showed how a girl had been killed because of this, so I think of that and it puts me off.

  • Comment number 71.

    Why oh why does the BBC continually give credence to the daftest ideas of the day? If someone has recently passed a driving test, they have been passed as competent to drive by an examiner who is supposed to be trained to a high standard. If a pedestrian or cyclist is injured or killed through an accident caused by their stupidity in using a personal music system while using or crossing the road we should feel sorry for the innocent motorist who will be traumatised by this incident that has been caused by a cretin without the will to live. Maybe we should go back to a person walking in front of a moving vehicle waving a red flag.

  • Comment number 72.

    i think its wrong. reaon 1. alot of 17 to 24 drivers do work nites with alot of supermarkets. plus companys like merchandisen or rd retail wich is a company that operates all over the uk wich ive worked for and we travel alot to all parts of the country some times we start at 10pm till 5am and then travel to other jobs for the next day and some times we finish at like 2am so its wrong to change this when unemployment is so high it would be even higher if they did this. they need to look at it at all areas. they already have in place 6points in 2years and youve lost ur licence wich is a very good idea may be up it to 3 or 4yrs. let them release details of how many people have lost there licence with in 2yrs and review it and up it to 4yrs may be. you cant just penalise some one forr there age. but what we dont need is more unemployment just because your 23 and work. newzeland is a diffrent place all together. are they is a bad state like the uk no. they do things alot diffrent over there. we cant do some thing like another country does. its discrimination. its alot safer driven at nite than it is in the day. wich is a fact

  • Comment number 73.

    It isn't just the young inexperienced drivers that are a problem. I would suggest mandatory re-testing every 5 years for everyone, going to testing every year after the age of 70. There are many drivers who assume that because they passed their test they're good drivers & become complacent. I have, so far, chosen not to drive because I am terrified by the ignorance & sheer danger of a minority of motorists whom I encounter every time I am on the road.

  • Comment number 74.

    As far as I'm aware in Northern Ireland new drivers are required to display an 'R' plate indicating their inexperience. Surely this in conjuntion with the facilities available to the police which enables them to check if someone has a license and when they passed their test would go some way to stopping young inexperienced drivers causing carnage on the roads. There should also be a limit on the type of car young drivers can drive until they have more experience.

    Whilst I appreciate everone was inexperienced when they passed their test it seems recent years that the death rate of young drivers has increased. Unfortunately, they are ususlly male who play deafening music and have a lot of other youngsters in their cars. I suspect they are eithe showing off or are egged on by their passengers to drive at excessive speed and take risks for kicks. Most of the near misses I have had have been down to young drivers and their cavalier attitude towards other road users.

    As for older drivers it is unfortunate that many of them think they own the road because they have been driving for years and they know best. I am a female in my fifties and have been driving for over thirty years. I count myself lucky that I have never had an accident and have a clean license. Whilst I try to be a careful and courteous driver I don't drive around like a slowcoach however, I try to obey the law, drive within the speed limits and watch the traffic and road conditions. My driving instructor always reminded me that a car in the wrong hands is a lethal weapon and it's not until you pass your test that you really learn to drive. I have never forgotten his words and they often ring in my ears when I am on the road.

    It's a difficult balance but something has to be done.

  • Comment number 75.


    I'm over 70 and never had an accident - yet some want to ban me?

    If you had a compulsory retest for ALL drivers who have two accidents - THAT might make a difference.

  • Comment number 76.

    How about the government introducing some regional variations into driving instruction & testing instead of discriminating against the young like this? I have a 17-year-old son who is learning to drive. There is nothing in the UK driving test to prepare him for the very real dangers he will face in our remote rural area - single track roads, hairpin bends over precipices, deer, sheep & cattle wandering loose. Instead he will be tested exhaustively on theoretical urban driving situations he cannot practise and will rarely face. Just another example of one-size-fits-all state thinking.

  • Comment number 77.

    There are lots of good points here but what worries my is the assumption that all inexperienced drivers are dangerous drivers. New drivers need to experience challenging conditions to learn how to drive properly and there are many new drivers who drive perfectly sensibly and safely. It's only the minority who cause problems, usually due to peer pressure. A limit on what power of cars new drivers can drive is a good idea but you're always going to get those irresponsible people who are irresponsible in life and on the road.

  • Comment number 78.

    I don't see that these restrictions will really help at all. I was one of those tragically un-confident drivers when I was learning a few years ago, and the idea of driving at night scared me, but living in Scotland and learning in the winter, driving at night time is pretty un-avoidable! Personally, I think it will affect instructors who will only be able to teach during the day.

    The main issue, I think, is adverse weather conditions. When I was learning, I was told that when in a 60 stretch, an examiner is looking for me to drive at 60mph and if I go slower, it will be taken against me. It made me feel like I must drive at 60mph, come rain, shine or a nasty corner. It also meant that when I hit black ice, I didn't know what to do about it. That, and I have absolutely no idea how to drive safely in snow (though I have learned that it's a time you're allowed to drive slower).

  • Comment number 79.

    Did any of the researchers visit Shetland during the winter before they decided that this idea was practical?

    The problem is the test, and therefore the lessons that learner drivers receive in preparation for it, both of which leave a new driver completely unprepared for night driving, in addition to motorway driving or driving on snow. There is far too much emphasis placed on low-speed manoeuvres, which only form a very small part of real-world driving and are responsible for a tiny minority of fatalities on the road.

  • Comment number 80.

    With 1 in 20 cars, unimsured or taxed, it strikes me that exactly who is going to "police" such a law?

    Bring back spot checks on cars, increase fines so that the fine for not having insurance would be more than the insurance evaded etc.


  • Comment number 81.

    Round and round the argument goes....perhaps the driving test should involve some night driving ????

    There are good and bad drivers in every age group there are also many quangos designed to give us another bandwagon to jump on.

    Compared to the incredible number of people and miles travelled on the roads the numbers who die are tiny.

    There will always be bad drivers and there will always be bad driving, whats next fitting everyone under the age of 25 with a headcam ? and black box ?How many of us with our supposed experience would fail a re-taken test ??
    I would love to hear the squeal if everyone under 25 stopped getting cars and insurance , the industry would grind to a halt......

    If there really is such a major problem then the only answer is to raise the age to 25 for the licence,if its that people are driving under the influence of drink or drugs that is a totally separate issue and should be highlighted accordingly as it crosses more age groups than would be expected.

  • Comment number 82.

    I don't agree with this at all. I am 22, have had my licence for 3 years and have had one minor accident which was in broad daylight and was not my fault. I usually ONLY drive at night as I work during the day and use my car to go out in the evening. Half the reason I passed my test was so I could go meet people or go to someones house after dark without worrying about walking alone at night which I don't want to do. Even if you use public transport I would still have to walk a good 10/15 minutes through back streets by myself late at night alone which I don't deem very safe at all.

    My friends and I are always sensible, if we go out drinking we ensure there is a designated driver who does not tough a drop of alcohol and drives everyone else home.

    I admit there are a few idiots who behave like that but please don't punish those of us who are sensible and drive far better than some people of 30 or 40 who are also capable of drinking and driving at night.

    Besides all that will happen is people won't learn to drive at night and people aged 24-28 won't be seen as safe to drive at night eithier. Unfortunately the only way to learn to drive well is through experience which won't happen if people are banned from doing it.

  • Comment number 83.

    I wonder how long ago some of the people commenting on this passed their test? There are a good number of people I see driving who should have to resit and would fail a test, failure to keep to lanes on roundabouts, failure to signal, pulling out and causing others to brake hard etc etc

    When my son passed I made sure he understood that driving is a continuous learning experience, I took him out at night whilst he was learning so that he could see the difference. Then after passing his test I went with him on a motorway as well as more night driving to help build his confidence. I feel too many parents do not accept the basic idea that you need to learn and practice driving so don't pass this on.

    When he is driving he does not drink any alchohol, his friends all take turns to be designated driver if they all wish to drink they don't drive.

    However there are an element that drive too fast and do not understand that they do not have enough experience etc, we should not restrict all drivers when what we need to do is target the few.

    Before taking my test I attended a course where we went on a skid pan and learnt how to get in to and out of skids, I'm sure it will be described as too costly but we should be looking at ideas like to this to help inexperienced drivers.

  • Comment number 84.

    I am somewhat baffled by a number of comments here. Over 40 years ago, in England, my father-in-law reached the age of 70. At this point he was required to take a medical exam to test his eye sight and reactions before his driving license could be renewed. According to some contributors, this is not the case. So, what is the national requirement?
    Peter D South Carolina

  • Comment number 85.

    hi? i have been driving 61 years have driven artics/8wheelers/ tanks/ bulldozers/ cars/busses etc? the ban is a good idea? driving at night can be very decieving (i was a night trunk driver in 1950s) and easily missjudged for new drivers? some youngsters will take chances? i was a biker in 1950s"i did" but the traffic now is a very different kettle of fish? as are the cars? the only reason there are less deaths on road is the way vehicles protect you now? sadly other motorists pay exsessive insurance for the fast cars and inexperienced drivers? and biggest killers are speed? have a nice safe day

  • Comment number 86.

    As a young driver myself (very nearly 23 years old), I must say I disagree with rather a lot of what is said in this article.

    Firstly, saying that young people shouldn't be allowed to drive at night, I often find driving at night safer, and as a matter of fact had over 75% of my driving lessons AT NIGHT!

    Secondly, I often find that there are a lot more dangerous older drivers than myself. I am often tailgated when doing 30 mph in 30 zones (which I do as best I can all the time), and in fact I once had an accident BECAUSE I was trying to stick to the speed limit and hadn't seen the person in front stop.

    11. At 09:52am on 21 Sep 2010, Miss Ann Thrope wrote:
    Young people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Old people can't drive. This is a FACT.
    Take away all of their licenses, make the roads a safer place.

    In response to this comment I would like to say that an older woman (i.e. middle aged woman) cut in front of me earlier going into a car park, turning left from the right hand lane without indicating, when I was in the left hand lane to go straight on. It was thanks to my good reactions I was able to avoid hitting the woman because she literally was only just in front of me at the time. Now, surely if I "wasn't able to drive" as you put it, I wouldn't have been able to take avoiding action in time.

  • Comment number 87.

    Leave it how it is, its as good as any way. You will have crashes and deaths what ever you do.

  • Comment number 88.

    At 10:17am on 21 Sep 2010, RedandYellowandGreennotBlue wrote:

    Well, if we're going to discriminate against one group, could I also suggest making the following take regular driving tests:

    1. Parents who usually only drive during the school run
    2. All minicab drivers

    Absolutely! I have a friend who used to live opposite a school. He came out one morning to go to work and found a strange car on his drive. He waited for about 15 mins to see who`s it was. A lady came across from the school and he confronted her and she said " Sorry, but there was nowhere to park on the road so i thought i`d borrow your drive for 5 mins. " Unbelievable !

  • Comment number 89.

    The best way to reduce deaths and accidents by new drivers. would be to make it mandatory that they be only allowed to drive vehicles up to 1000cc, for the first 2 years of passing there test.

    most of the accidents happen because as soon as they pass there test they can drive any car they want, regardless of the power. as long as they can afford the insurance, or in many cases as long as there parents can afford the insurance.
    i have a modified car and have been around modified cars and the modified car scene for 30 years. i see it all the time, parents think they are doing the right thing by there children by buying them a car and insuring it for them. but all they are doing in many cases is giving them a death sentence.

    when someone passes there driving test. it does not mean they are an experienced driver. it just means they are competent enough to drive a car. the experience of driving comes with time. so by limiting the power of the car they can drive, will give them the chance to build on there competence to drive safely. it will also give them a chance to get through the new drivers faze of them thinking they are a race car driver.

    so give them and other passengers and the general public a chance of survival. limit there car to 1000cc for 2 years, and no modifications for 3 years.

  • Comment number 90.

    May be a bit off topic....

    I think this study findings are useful and agree with a scheme of graduated licensing. I believe that a way of enforcing such a scheme could be achieved without too many downsides. Afterall, speed cameras were implemented without discrimination and gas led to revenue generation which could be recycled to enforce such scheme.

    I would also welcome a study on commuter behaviour during school term times. Whilst the study may not reveal causes of severe issues such as deaths and injuries, I believe there is benefit in preventing accidents that cause damage to property Ada result of minor accidents ( not to mention the benefits if reduced congestion and environmental benefits). The type of behaviour I have seen by parents in the school run undoubtably finds it's way into the attitudes of young drivers.

    Similarly, the behaviours of patents in MPVs laden with children, DVD players in the back and driving in the outside lanes of motorways should be studied.

    Also, the behaviour of reps and small can drivers should also be studied.

    The reasons for these additional studies is that these groups represent larger numbers if drivers that young drivers.

    Finally, I wod like to see a study of cyclists road use. Many cyclists do nit use available cycle paths and disregard basic traffic rules yet do not pay tax or road insurance.

  • Comment number 91.

    I'm the odd one out again ! Being the worlds worst driver, I'm intolerant of those who dither, obey speed limits, are too cautious, think they are setting an example to others and believe thay are safe drivers. So I'm in no position to pontificate to my betters, which is all of you, on the rights and wrongs of driving standards. But this suggestion to ban young drivers from driving at night is stupid and unenforceable. You may have noticed that, at last, policing is beginning to address proper crimes, not traffic infractions. Better put, new, not necessarily young, drivers need to develop their skills in all driving conditions and that includes driving at night. In fact I often choose to drive long distance at night on long journeys, it is much much quicker when all you perfect drivers are tucked up reading your Highway Codes in bed leaving me the open road on which to enjoy myself !!

  • Comment number 92.

    I'm a 23 year old who has finished University and I work full time at a petrol station. Obviously, my shifts entail quite a lot of night driving. Although I have been driving for 5 years without a claim, I am still technically a target for this ban as I am under 24.

    I totally disagree with the notion of this ban and I am more in support of breathalysers being fitted to an immobiliser on a car. There are a great deal of 17 to 24 year olds who have to drive at night for a number of work or family related reasons and for families who live out in rural areas this would be socially crippling.

  • Comment number 93.

    Its all well and good making yet more legislation, but. I have just returned from my local shop, 5miles away. I counted 5 people using their mobile phones on winding country roads. If we are not going to enforce legislation or don’t have the available resources to enforce them it all becomes a waste of time.

  • Comment number 94.

    How much police time would be wasted by officers pulling over people who they think might be under the threshold.

    There are too many variables for officers to be certain that a person might be too young, meaning that they'd have to pull over ANYONE they suspect of being underage.

    Considering I know some 30 year old friends of mine who get ID's at supermarkets for appearing too young, it will end up being a shambles.

  • Comment number 95.

    What a load of rubbish, at 20 I have had my licence a year and worked nights, I was driving into London every night to work, Had this come in then I would have had to leave my job because of the government. I am not alone a friend of my was an on-call electrician at that age and also would have not been able to do his job.

    I wonder if this would extend overseas, to the 18-24 year olds fighting in the middle east? Would they not be allowed to drive the armoured land rovers at night?

    It is shocking that the government want to introduce to a rule that would not let someone who is old enough to be an MP, own a house and small buisness or to fight on the front lines drive at night.

  • Comment number 96.

    I would suspect many people will be in agreement with this until it applies to themselves.

    How do young and inexperienced drivers get experience in driving in the dark unless they drive in the dark?

    Surely the answer to young and inexperienced drivers is to limit the engine size and acceleration of a vehicle rather than ban them from driving in the dark completely and ALL drivers should be tested for night time vision as people with good day light sight can suffering sight problems in the dark.

  • Comment number 97.

    Yes, however I have no problems getting a medical check every year or 6 months. Not unlike airline pilots. I'm a better driver now so I think I would have no problem with this...

  • Comment number 98.

    54. At 10:24am on 21 Sep 2010, buttons wrote:
    17. At 09:55am on 21 Sep 2010, chezza100 wrote:
    The driving age should be raised and no new driver allowed to drive anything over a 1000cc for a period of time after passing or reaching a certain age - perhaps 25.

    I drive a 1.5 DCi Cleo, I'm 20, should I be driving a 1 litre Corsa?
    No. The amount of times the extra power has come in handy for getting my self out of a tricky situation on the motorway caused by the so called petrol/arrogant heads on the road, where a 1000cc engine just wouldn't cut it.

    Agreed... and actually insurance premiums (which are based on claims made) back your point up. When I went to buy my first car I found that the 1.2L version was £150 a year less to insure than the 1 litre precisely because the extra power meant FEWER accidents.

    While I'm not suggesting that its a good idea for brand new drivers to drive 4.2L sports cars the idea that some arbitary limit on engine size will make the roads safer is nonsense and virtually impossible to enforce anyway.

    Of course engine size is only half the story anyway... a 1 Litre engine in a car weight half a ton will be far faster than a 1.2 in a car weighing a ton and gearbox ratios or even fuel quality (my 12 year old Astra is far quicker with super-unleaded from a BP or Shell compared to bog standard supermarket 95 octane unleaded) also make a difference.

  • Comment number 99.

    I think everyone (including me) should be forced to resit a driver's test every 5 years. People get sloppy about driving after while; they do thing like not using their indicators so other drivers have to guess what they're doing. Some bozos brake THEN indicate.
    The test should also include a theory questionnaire; its amazing how many drivers don't know how to properly operate their vehicles inside things like box junctions. I spend 30 mins every morning at a box junction that is blocked by people who treat it like it doesn't exist and drivers who refuse to enter it when they are turning right until everything is clear.

  • Comment number 100.

    I think that youngsters get targeted for being dangerous drivers when i think that just as many accidents are caused by the older generation. Some older drivers i have witnessed are absolutely terrible. I think everyone has the right to drive but i think once passed there should be follow up tests for example every 5 years when over 60, something like that to try and prevent dangerous driving. In terms of youngsters driving, they overall are much more aware and responsive, however a small number spoil their reputation when driving irresponsibly and too fast. This view is mainly associated with young lads. I think it is more about monitoring the drivers after passing, educating them on the dangers and doing more rigorous testing when it comes to the first driving test. I think if it is harder, youngsters will appreciate passing more and may not choose to be so silly when driving. The idea of a graduated license seems sensible, however for young, single parents this may prove very inconvenient, they would obviously be carrying a passenger under the age of 25 in the first six months and this would cause problems.


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