Learner driver age uplift proposed to reduce crashes

By Gillian Crotty

The government will consider increasing the age that learner drivers can obtain a probationary licence from 17 to 18 in a bid to reduce road traffic accidents involving young drivers.

One in five road accident fatalities involve drivers aged 17 to 24 according to recent figures. A spokesman for the Department for Transport said that young drivers account for "5 per cent of all the miles driven in Britain but are involved in about 20 per cent of the crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured." A green paper is to be published later in the year for the government's consideration, and it is thought that it will propose the following for young drivers:

  • Increase of age that learner drivers get a probationary licence from 17 to 18
  • Newly qualified drivers to have a curfew between 10pm and 5 am if driving without a passenger aged over 30
  • A ban on mobile use including hands-free
  • Lower alcohol limit

The proposals have received largely positive feedback, but the president of the motoring organisation the AA, Edmund King, says the measures are tackling the problem in the "wrong way". He said the focus should move away from restrictions to better preparation in advance of a licence being given. His suggestions include a more wide ranging learning experience that takes in motorway driving and driving in bad weather.

If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of a road traffic accident, and need to speak to a solicitor in Northern Ireland about compensation, contact Wilson Nesbitt by calling 0800 840 9289.

If you require legal advice from a motoring offences solicitor call 0800 840 0546.