'Junior driving licences' proposed for young drivers

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says that the best way of stopping young drivers from crashing so much is to withhold full driving licences from them until they're more experienced.

As such, it has called for the introduction of partial driving licences, that will temporarily restrict the time of day a young driver can get behind the wheel, and how many passengers he or she can carry.
Stats show that 18 people a day are killed or injured by drivers under 25, with one in four serious or fatal road injuries involving someone of the same group.

The ABI reckons that those numbers could drop substantially if new drivers are put on a two-year probationary period after passing the test, holding a restricted licence that will see them subject to curfews and stipulations on the road.

Learner drivers would have to take lessons during a learning period of at least one year before they are even allowed to take the test, meaning that short, intensive driving courses would be banned. This will, in theory, ensure learner drivers have a good degree of experience before hitting the road alone.

Once a 'junior' licence is obtained, the driver will only be able to carry a certain number of passengers, and be restricted from driving between 11pm and 4am; it's likely there will be allowances within the curfew for emergencies.

As well as the primary aim of bringing accident casualties down, the ABI's proposal would, if accepted, have the positive benefit of bringing insurance rates down - certainly for young drivers but hopefully for all.

The ABI's Malcolm Tarling said: "We really need to take some action to make our young drivers safer for tomorrow. If we can bring the risk down, by encouraging safer, better driving, that will bring the cost of insurance down."

There are currently no plans to chance the licence system for learner drivers, but pressure on the Department for Transport is mounting.
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