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Will Test Age Rise for Teenagers?

The UK government is thinking about raising the age that learners are allowed to take their driving test. This is a bid to cut the number of accidents involving young motorists.

Teenagers could only be issued a 12 month probationary licence at the age of 17, which means that they will only be able to take their test at age of 18. They could also be faced with a curfew between 10pm and five in the morning, unless a passenger aged over 30 was also in the car.

The Recommendations

The Transport Research Laboratory’s report recommends that 17 year old drivers should have at least 100 hours of daytime, and 20 hours of night-time practice under supervision. If they pass at 18, they will then get a probationary licence and will be required to display ‘P’ plates. During their probationary period, drivers have to adhere to the curfew, and if they are under 30, they cannot carry passengers under 30.

Other recommendations include banning young drivers from using mobile phones in any capacity whilst driving, a lower alcohol limit for young drivers, and putting driving skills on the national curriculum.

After this 12 month probationary period, drivers will automatically graduate to a full license.

The Statistics

More than a fifth of deaths on British roads in 2011 involved drivers aged 17-24. The Transport Research Laboratory suggests that their recommendations could cut casualties by 4,471 and could save £224 million.

A spokesman from the Department of Transport said, “Young drivers drive around 5% of all the miles driven in Britain but are involved in about 20% of the crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured.

“We are committed to improving safety for young drivers and reducing their insurance costs – that is why we are publishing a Green Paper later in the year setting out our proposals.

“This will include a discussion about how people learn to drive.”

These suggestions could be law in a year or two, and most of them have been welcomed by industry professionals. AA president has said, “There are many proposals in the report with merit and which are advocated by the AA. Road safety on the national curriculum is something we have long campaigned for and I am pleased to see it being recommended here.

“Likewise we would also support learner drivers being allowed on motorways with their instructor. However, at the extreme end this report could be seen as just recommending taking novice drivers off the road by regulation and restriction rather than helping them develop the right attitudes and skills to provide them with the mobility they need”.

If you’re a teenager looking at learning to drive, take a look at the resources that Book Your Practical Test Online has to offer, so you can become a safe driver.

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