MINISTERS PLAN TO INCREASE DRIVING AGE TO 19 – Ministers’ are now considering a change in the law that would not allow anyone under the age of 18 to drive. It is also being proposed that a full licence will not be obtainable until the age of 19.
The proposed changes are designed to dramatically cut nearly 5,000 road injuries and deaths a year. According to statistics more than 25 per cent of all motoring related accidents involve person under the age of 24.
Under the plans Ministers’ are also looking at reducing the drink drive limit; although as yet no indication of the new level has been provided.
Another drastic measure being considering is banning all persons under the age of 30 from giving their friends a ride and driving at night for the first 12 months after obtaining their licence.
It has long been the goal of road safety campaigners to see reform in order to reduce the number of accident and deaths on our roads; but are the new measures appropriate, considering 25 per cent of all motoring accidents involve those under the age of 24?
The Transport Research Laboratory is calling for the introduction of a Graduate Driving Licence in which new drivers would have to pass a number of tests far greater than currently required.
According to research and data from insurance companies a driver under the age of 24 is approximately four times more likely that be involved in a serious accident.
Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, is now considering all the proposals put forth and it is expected that formal consultation could be published before the New Year.
Ministers’ were cautious in noting that nothing concrete has yet been decided but all aspects were being considered in order to reduce the carnage on British roads, therefore making it safer for everyone to drive.
More on this story… Daily Mail
Would such a move restrict a person’s liberty? The answer to that is obviously yes and Ministers’ are considering this aspect.
Ministers’ will also look into the impacts of youth unemployment as this currently consists of over one million people under the age of 24. If we restrict these people from traveling to and from work then the latest round of welfare reform, the Earn or Learn scheme, will likely be severely affected.
I could be skeptical here and simply say that the Government are working with the Insurance companies in order to reduce the number of claims; therefore increasing profits – to a degree this is no doubt accurate however, road safety campaigner have also applied pressure in order to make our roads safer.
What is being proposed is a more stringent set of tests and certainly it would be far more practical and beneficial in the long term to increase the requirements of obtaining a driving licence; not just within the written text but also that of practical skills.
In my view a change in the law to make it illegal for anyone to drive after the consumption of alcohol should be introduced; resulting in the immediate loss of a licence for anyone caught drink driving.
Reducing the speeds limits on our roads is not really an issue – the issue lays within getting motorist to keep to current speed limits. Therefore why not increase the financial penalties and tie these in with the cost of insurance? For example a speeding ticket would result in an immediate fine and the insurance company would then be able to increase the annual premium – far greater than the current system.
On top of this why not increase the penalty point system making the offense of speeding and other traffic violations considerably more punishing. Again this could be, as it currently is, tied into the insurance premium but the premiums should be much higher.
It really is not, in my view, sensible to simply point the finger at anyone age group but rather simply increase fines, increase penalty point and increase insurance premiums.
Why not also introduce a system whereby anyone caught driving without a licence and insurance face a minimum of 5 years in prison where they are made to work repairing our roads.
Yes there are many things we could do to make our roads safer but ultimately that responsibility rests with every one of us that gets behind the wheel – regardless of age.