Theresa May: Young drivers could face new restrictions after passing test

Variations of the system exist around the world but include bans on driving in the evening, limiting the number of passengers in a vehicle and revising maximum speeds

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Wednesday 07 February 2018 14:40 GMT
Theresa May says she will consider new license regime for young drivers

Young drivers could soon face new restrictions after passing their test under proposals put to Theresa May.

The Prime Minister said she would look at the issue of a “graduated licensing system” after an MP told the Commons how a learner driver killed a child in her constituency.

Variations of the system exist around the world but it generally places restrictions on new drivers, including bans on driving in the evening, limiting the number of passengers in a vehicle and revising maximum speeds.

Only when young drivers have obtained enough experience on the road and built up their skills gradually – in well-defined, structured stages – will they acquire a full licence.

Raising the issue Jenny Chapman, the Labour MP for Darlington, said that one in four young drivers are involved in an accident within the first two years of starting to drive and 400 deaths or serious injuries on roads involved young drivers each year.

She then asked Ms May whether she would consider the introduction a graduated licensing system for the UK.

“I will certainly look at the request that she has made and I will also ask the Department for Transport to look at this as an issue,” the Prime Minister replied.

“As she says too many people suffer loss and tragedy at the hands of learner drivers in this circumstance and we will certainly look at that.

After Ms Chapman raised the issue the Conservative MP Justin Tomlinson added: “Powerful PMQ by Jenny Chapman on the need for a Graduated Drivers Bill. I previously pushed for this via a PMB [private members’ bill], small changes could make a big difference.”

His private members’ bill in 2013 that failed to pass the required parliamentary hurdles but suggested a newly qualified driver’s licence should be valid for 12 months before being reassessed.

It also called on holders to be limited to carrying no more than one passenger in a vehicle they are driving and to drastically reduce the legal limit on the level of alcohol for a newly-qualified driver.

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