Young Drivers Face Night Driving Ban

Thu 18th Jul 2019

A new road safety scheme could see newly qualified drivers banned from driving at night, amongst a series of measures proposed by the Department for Transport.

The plans come after new figures show that a fifth of new drivers are involved in an accident during their first year behind the wheel. Other restrictions include a minimum learning period and not driving with passengers under a certain age.

A gradual learning curve for drivers is already in operation in a number of other countries, including in New York and California in the United States.

The road safety minister, Michael Ellis, said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, but we are always looking at ways to make them safer. Getting a driving licence is exciting for young people, but it can also be daunting, as you’re allowed to drive on your own for the first time.

“We want to explore in greater detail how graduated driver licensing, or aspects of it, can help new drivers to stay safe and reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for the road safety charity Brake, said: “Newly qualified drivers, particularly young males, are a high road safety risk and much of this can be put down to lack of experience and overconfidence. We must do all we can to keep young drivers safe and this starts with making our licensing process more robust.”

Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “RoSPA welcomes this trial and believes that it will allow young drivers to gain valuable experience, while reducing the risks associated with night-time driving and the carrying of multiple passengers.”

AA president Edmund King said: “For many people, excessive post-test restrictions could negate the purpose of them having a driving licence in the first place – such as driving to work on early or late shifts when public transport is not convenient.

“This is why any post-test restrictions must be properly researched and piloted first to ensure they do not place an unnecessary burden on new drivers.”