Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Minister considers changes for newly qualified drivers

The government says it is considering banning newly qualified young drivers from having other young people in the car, as ministers look to ways to reduce the number of deaths on the UK's roads.

Transport Spokesman Earl Attlee made the comments during oral questions on 12 December 2012.

Earl Attlee was asked by Labour peer Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe whether the coalition government were considering lowering the blood alcohol limit for drivers aged under 21.

The current drink-drive limit in the UK is 80 milligrams per 100ml of blood, whereas there is a lower 50 milligrams limit in most other European countries.

Earl Attlee denied the government would reduce the limit for young drivers, but did admit he was looking at a "number of options" to reduce the number of deaths amongst drivers under the age of 21.

He told peers: "One option would be to deal with the problem where we see tragic accidents where several youngsters are killed in one vehicle.

"We need to consider whether we allow one driver to carry several youngsters."

However he went on to tell peers that such a ban could have an economic effect, or have other unintended consequences.

Earl Attlee, when asked by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer, also ruled out following France in making it compulsory for all drivers to have a breathalyser in the car.

He told peers: "It would allow drivers to drink more, whilst believing they were below the limit.

"We have a policy that there is no safe level of alcohol in the breath."

Peers also asked questions on proposals for a register of lobbyists, the UK charitable sector and the funding of clinical networks.

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