Alcohol ban urged for young drivers


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The Independent Online

Young novice motorists should not be allowed to drink any alcohol while driving, and should be restricted in the hours when they can take to the road, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said today.

Drivers under the age of 25 should have a minimum one-year learning period before taking their driving test, the ABI also said.

Newly-qualified drivers aged under 25 should hold a graduated driving licence for two years and then have to take a second test.

This graduated licence would contain restrictions on the number of passengers that can be carried, while there should also be restrictions on driving between 11pm and 4am unless driving was necessary for work purposes.

The proposals were set out by the ABI today in an effort to cut the high level of deaths and serious injuries involving young drivers.

Motorists aged under 25 are twice as likely to fail a breathalyser test and are more at risk when driving late at night and early in the morning.

They also account for a high proportion of death and serious injury accidents on the roads.

Nick Starling, ABI's director of general insurance and health, said: "Our proposals are not designed to drive young drivers off the road, but to ensure that they become safer drivers. We must act to reduce the tragic loss of young lives on our roads.

"While recent years may have seen a reduction in road accident fatalities and serious injuries, the figures are still too high.

"Every young driver statistic is a tragedy. Whether it is inexperience, youthful bravado or sheer recklessness we need tough action to better equip young drivers to handle the dangers of driving."