Teens to face new driving restrictions

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Teens to face new driving restrictions

Teenagers fresh from passing their driving test may no longer find they have the freedom they'd hoped for, should proposals put forward in a new Government green paper come into effect.

Unveiled today at a motor insurance industry summit, the paper is aimed at reducing the number of teenagers killed and injured on UK roads.

Road collisions attributed to young drivers (17-24) are so prevalent that insurance costs have nearly doubled for that age group in the last two years.

The proposed restrictions include a zero drink-drive limit and a night-time driving curfew between 11pm and 4am.

Conversely, changes to the driving test itself, including night-time driving lessons, would be encouraged along with motorway tuition in a bid to increase the driver's experience before they head out on their own.

The green paper also recommends an increase from two to three years of the probationary period in which new drivers only need to accrue six penalty points before losing their licence.

The Government is also considering reducing the minimum driving age to 16 and a half, though this would be combined with the requirement of holding a provisional licence for at least one year before going to test.

Announcing the proposals, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "It is alarming that a fifth of people killed or seriously injured on our roads in 2011 were involved in a collision where at least one driver was aged 17-24. Improving the safety of our young drivers is therefore a real priority and will not only reduce casualties but should also mean a reduction in the sky-high insurance premiums they pay."

However, motoring organisations are concerned with the focus on reducing insurance premiums rather than road deaths: "We are worried that curfews and restrictions will merely restrict the ability to gain the real world knowledge that saves lives," said Neil Greig, Policy Director at the Institute of Advanced Motorists.