MPs want zero alcohol rule for new drivers

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Indy Politics

A zero alcohol limit for newly-qualified drivers was recommended today in a report by MPs.











Learners should also have a minimum 12-month learning period and not be allowed to have a full licence until they are 18 compared with the present age of 17, the report from the House of Commons Transport Committee said.

Also, newly-qualified drivers should be prohibited from carrying any passengers aged 10-20 between 11pm and 5am.

The MPs also recommended that driving tests be taken in a dual-control vehicle and the test should be extended to include motorway driving if necessary.

The zero alcohol limit and the restriction on passengers should be imposed for the first 12 months after candidates pass their driving test, the committee said.

The committee pointed out that although just one in eight licence holders is aged under 25, a third of drivers killed in road collisions are under 25. This rises to a half of all drivers killed at night.

The committee's chairman Gwyneth Dunwoody MP said: "Bold measures are required to reduce the number of people killed and injured in crashes involving young drivers.

"Novice drivers are extremely vulnerable and pose considerable risks to their passengers and other road users. Our report recommends a wholesale reform of the driver licensing regulations. Anything less will not address the reality of the risks."

The committee also warned that there was a risk that the proposed restrictions on novice drivers would encourage more people to drive unlicensed and therefore the impact of any new regulations had to be carefully monitored by the Department for Transport.

The report said a structured syllabus for learners should be brought in, with all parts needing to be completed before candidates can sit the driving test.

The MPs also called for hazard perception training to be a mandatory part of the learner process.

Mrs Dunwoody said: "We cannot continue to waste young lives. The implementation of the measures in this report would go a long way to improve the safety of young and novice drivers, and other road users.

"The Government and the police must ensure that no one can ignore the licensing system and drive illegally. There may be in excess of a million people driving without a valid licence. Enforcing existing traffic law must be a top priority."

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