Page last updated at 21:57 GMT, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 22:57 UK

Driver curfew to be consulted on

Car crash wreckage
New drivers are more likely to have a serious crash

The Northern Ireland Assembly is to begin a consultaion process on proposals to impose a night time curfew on novice drivers this spring.

The motion was proposed by DUP assembly member Alastair Ross.

He said he welcomed Environment Minister Arlene Foster's commitment to "bringing forward a set of proposals on graduated driver licensing.

"It is of course important that we choose the most appropriate elements of GDL for Northern Ireland," he said.

"Whilst some of the measures discussed today may not be popular with young people, any measures that will reduce the carnage on our roads and save lives must be given detailed consideration."

The scheme could also see the introduction of a statutory minimum period of supervised learning, a total ban on alcohol consumption when driving and additional restrictions on novice drivers in relation to carrying teenage passengers.

Northern Ireland already operates an R-plate system which must be displayed for a year and indicates the driver is restricted to 45mph.

For the first two years after passing their test they also face harsher penalties for motoring offences and only require six penalty points to lose their licence.

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