New research carried out by Brake, the road safety charity and Direct Line has found that the majority of people are in favour of some kind of restriction being put in place for newly qualified drivers. In their new study Brake found that 92% of people want some kind of restriction for the safety of new drivers and other road users.
The most recent figures have found that 2,088 drivers and passengers aged between 17 and 24 were killed or seriously injured on UK roads in 2015. Drivers aged 17 to 19 are involved in 9% of all fatal crashes, despite making up just 1.5% of the licence holder population in the UK.
These figures are a shock and this is why Brake has looked into whether people are interested in the idea of different legislation, restrictions and rules on newly qualified drivers. They also asked about whether there should be an extension to the length of time it takes to learn to drive.
When questioned, 66% of respondents agreed that they support the use of a “P” plate to show a driver is on probation during their first year of driving. They also back the idea of a zero tolerance drink driving limit put in place for new drivers.
50% of those who were questioned believe there should be a limit on the car engine size allowed for new drivers whilst over a third of those asked believe that newly qualified drivers should lose their licence if they break any traffic laws during that crucial first 12 months of driving.
79% of all the people questioned said they believe there needs to be a minimum time frame for learning to drive in and 62% believe this period should be at least six months. In the same vein 75% of people surveyed believe there should be a minimum number of taught driving lesson hours required before a learner is allowed to take the practical driving test. 50% of respondents believe that at least 35 hours of taught driving lessons is a good figure before allowing learners to take their practical driving test.
Youth and inexperience is a dangerous combination on the road as the lack of experience makes drivers less likely to spot all hazards and their young age makes them more likely to take risks.
Speaking on behalf of Brake, their communications and campaigns adviser commented: “Our first years behind the wheel are among the most dangerous of our lives, with one in five new drivers crashing in their first six months on the road. We must do more to help keep young people safe behind the wheel. Countries and states that have introduced restrictions for newly qualified drivers have seen big drops in crash rates. We’re pleased to hear the government has announced plans for a full review into the current driving test this year, with a view to making it more like “real life driving” but the introduction of graduated driving licencing would make young and novice drivers much safer and save lives.”
Brake are one of a number of organisations campaigning for graduated driving licences and with the government looking into changes for the driving test, they may consider changes to licensing too.