Graduated Driving Licenses

Are they coming in?

As learner drivers are being put through more advanced driving lessons due to the changes made to the practical test in November, last year (2017) and this June (2018) being granted permission to have lessons on motorways. Is it right to also put restrictions on their licenses once they’ve passed, during their first year of driving?

Here at CarCliq, we discuss what graduated driving licenses are, what restrictions you could face and the current stage they are at.
What is a graduated driving license?
This is a newly developed driving license which will put specified restrictions on newly passed drivers for an initial period of time.
Why may graduated driving licenses be taking place?
The Government have spoken out to the public about the heightening number of accidents happening with newly qualified motorists during their first two years of being on the road – with this being currently 400 young UK drivers who face serious or fatal injuries each year.

Therefore, the Government feel that by reducing the numerous things new drivers can currently do when they first pass will consequence in a lower number of accidents – however, will new drivers still get the crucial road experience they need to become better?
What restrictions do new drivers currently face?
  • Any driver who has been unaccompanied on the roads for under two years will lose their license if they amass six penalty points.
  • Disqualification of their license if caught using a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel – this carries an additional £200 fine as well.
  • It is currently optional in England, Scotland and Wales, to display a “P” plate on their vehicle for as long as the driver chooses.
  • In Northern Ireland, newly passed drivers as a legal requirement must display an “R” (restricted) plate on their vehicle for their first year of driving. This means they cannot travel any faster than 45mph.

What new restrictions could be put on the UK graduated driving license?
  • Driving curfews – this would mean drivers will only be allowed on the road at set times.
  • Passenger numbers – this puts a limit on how many people are allowed in the car.
  • Lower alcohol limits – this involves a reduction of the legal threshold for blood readings.
  • Speed limits –  new drivers being restricted to slower speeds.
  • Engine sizes – the power output limits put on the new drivers’ car.
  • Mandatory “P” plates – this will be required for up to 2 years after passing the practical test.
  • Learner drivers may also not be able to apply to take their driving test in under 6 months of learning.
So, what stage is the graduated driving license currently at?
This year (2018), in February, Prime Minister Theresa May gave the Department for Transport a task to explore the possibility of a graduated licensing scheme.

Then, in April 2018, they announced a “pilot” graduated scheme would take place in Northern Ireland during 2019-2020. Furthermore, if they see positive results from the pilot, the initiative will be rolled out across the UK.
Where else in the world currently have a graduated driving licence scheme?
At this moment in time, drivers in the USA, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand must follow the graduating license protocol.

In the USA and Australia – they are not permitted to drive at night without an experienced driver and they are limited to the number of passengers in the car too.

In Ireland – they must undergo a 2-year period of probation. With this, it entails that they must put an “N” plate throughout this time and have a lower drink-drive limit in comparison to more experienced road users.

To conclude, we feel that this would help reduce accidents in the UK, as too many young lives are taken or left with serious injuries. However, we feel that once their “probation” period is up, will they have the experience to drive at night time or the initiative to say no to drinking when they’re driving?

For more CarCliq guides click here

To learn more about other major driving offences click here
Are you a newly passed driver? Click here to learn more about the pass-plus scheme

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