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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007, 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK
Novice drivers: your comments
Learner driver taking the driving test
Should there be more restrictions on young drivers?

MPs from the House of Commons Transport Committee have recommended a number of measures to help stop young drivers from "killing themselves and others."

The proposals include raising the minimum age for taking the driving test from 17 to 18, ensuring learner drivers spread lessons over a year before taking their test, applying a zero alcohol policy for novice drivers and banning them from carrying passengers aged between 10 and 20 from 11pm to 5am.

BBC website readers have been e-mailing us their views on these proposals, a selection of which you can read below.


Your comments:

Another sensible restriction on young/new drivers would be to limit the vehicle type to a low-powered engine type, preferably 1000cc until they can provide a clean licence for three consecutive years.
Peter Young, Cambridge

If these people actually looked at the statistics, they'd see more MIDDLE AGED people are caught drinking and driving than any other age band - in either case the breath test limit should be reduced to 0% for all ages.
Stuart Ross, Heathrow

I also believe that a separate motorway test should also be introduced.
Peter, Rugby
I've recently come back from living in Australia where they have all these kinds of concepts - curfews, zero-alcohol and the rest and they still have a similar level of young drivers killed every year. I'm not sure what the answer is, but it seems that there's more to it than what is being proposed.
Lou, Southampton

I agree with raising the age of drivers taking their test to 18. I would also argue there is a case for raising it to higher than that when you consider the standard of driving I see from young drivers on the road (particularly males). I also think that the 'PASS PLUS' test should be made compulsory. My Fiance took the Pass Plus training within weeks of passing her test and the improvement in her driving was immense. I also believe that a separate motorway test should also be introduced.
Peter Moriarty, Rugby

The alcohol level should be constant across the board. It is no more dangerous for a young driver to drink drive than an old one. The proposal that new drivers may not carry 10-20s as passengers from 11pm-5am ignores any perfectly reasonable reasons for driving at that time that are not dangerous - like dropping a sibling off for a 4am check-in at Heathrow, or picking up a 10-year-old younger sibling from a children's party when a parent is ill. Unless of course you're happy for your child to walk two miles home in the dark, or get in a taxi alone with a stranger...
Peter Brooks, Islington, London

I think these ideas are a start, but they don't go far enough..
Lorne Smith, Maidstone

Novice drivers are in many ways safer than "more experienced motorists" as they have not yet grown complacent, nor do they believe that they will not have an accident because they have been driving safely for years. Compulsory re-tests every 5 years (minimum) would help - as would the introduction of tiered driving tests (e.g. making the advanced driving test as offered by RoSPA/RoADAR compulsory after a period of time). However, any measures making it tougher to be a legal, licensed driver must be accompanied by further steps aimed at reducing the number of illegal/unlicensed/uninsured drivers on the roads - in other words, no more "slap on the wrist" punishments.
Matt Chatterley, Portsmouth

I think these ideas are a start, but they don't go far enough. As well as these, they should make the P plate mandatory for a year; limit the engine size you can drive for the year after the test to a maximum of 1300cc; and NOT permit motorway driving for a minimum of 6 months. Driving at 70mph on a motorway is a whole different kettle of fish to driving at 30mph in a housing estate.
Lorne Smith, Maidstone

To be honest, since I have been banned for drink driving (which I am not proud of), I have been made to go on a DIDS course based at Manchester Probation office. This has been very educational for me personally, learning all sorts of things about driving. ALL new drivers, young and old, should be MADE to go on some form of course separate from the Driving exams even if it costs some 150. What is 150 when compared to somebody's life?
Ged Jones, Manchester

I passed my test at 17 and started driving immediately, and I've never been involved in a crash.
Jonathan, Manchester

Well, I'm 18. I've been driving for about seven months and haven't had a crash yet. I think it's all down to a lot of young drivers being immature. I really don't think that a curfew is a good idea - it would be far too much hassle to stop young drivers travelling at night. But I think a zero tolerance for young drivers is a good idea because the young drivers that drive like maniacs should be taken off the road. I pay for those maniacs, as my insurance is 2400 for third-party cover only and I'm a safe driver.
Michael, Manchester

Has it not occurred to them that a lot of people within that age group (particularly students) are liable to have part-time jobs which involve finishing after 11pm, and that not everyone will have the luxury of their own car, so lifts are common. Similarly with shift workers in places like hospitals, call-centres, airports (talking of which, God help any young couple with a 5am check-in time - rock, scissors, paper for who gets to walk?). Meanwhile, around our area, people in their late 20s are perfectly capable of flipping their Porsches upside-down into fields, regardless of driving experience...
Matthew, Aberdeenshire

I passed my test at 17 and started driving immediately. I have never been involved in a crash and have not even had a single point on my licence. Perhaps the problems on our roads are not the young but the uninsured, reckless, unqualified drivers that the government doesn't seem to bother trying to catch because its easier to find and blame young people.
Jonathan Harding, Manchester






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