The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that their green paper discussing young driver safety reforms will be postponed indefinitely.¹
In early 2013 the Government announced that changes were to be proposed for newly-qualified and young drivers in the UK, in a bid to cut serious accidents on the roads and reduce insurance premiums for young people.
A green paper was originally promised for Spring 2013, and was expected to analyse options around ²:
• A minimum learning period for new drivers
• Improving driving lessons to include experience of driving in adverse conditions
• Changing the probationary period from 2 to 3 years
• Incentivising additional training after the initial driving test
• A graduated driving licence scheme
• Restrictions for young drivers such as a night-time curfew
On 19 December 2013 the Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), David Davies, said: “Ministers have today admitted that they are reneging on their repeated commitments to publish a consultation paper on young driver safety this year. It looks like a clear case of putting politics before the safety of young people, giving the general election priority over saving lives. PACTS is dismayed that the government is not prepared even to consult on such a vital issue.” ³
The suggestion of a night-time curfew on young-drivers has been one of the most widely debated – insurethebox published a paper arguing against this proposal in March 2013.
A social media survey showed that just 22% agree with a curfew for young drivers, while 78% agree that the alcohol limit for young drivers should be reduced. In a press article also published in December 2013 it was reported that Ministers fear a curfew could remove the ability of some young people to work late-night shifts, particularly if they live in more rural areas. ⁴
Simon Rewell, Road Safety Manager for Insure The Box Limited, said: “As a company with road safety – especially for young drivers – at its heart, we are obviously disappointed that this green paper has been postponed. We will be continuing to champion education and positive incentives for young motorists, rather than restrictions.”
PACTS said that these changes need “courageous leadership and overhaul”. PACTS will be urging the Transport Select Committee to consult the Government with regards to the lack of progress in addressing the high number of young driver accidents on the road.⁵
Sources:   http://www.pacts.org.uk/2013/12/governments-u-turn-on-young-driver-safety/
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