It’s most 16 and 17 year olds nightmare that the driving test age may rise to 18.
Once again, the government have had another tea and biscuits session and brought up what keeps getting brought up over the years ‘Should the driving test age be higher?‘
The Transport Research Laboratory released new stats from 2011 which shows that more than 1 in 5 driver deaths on the road were aged between 17-24.
What the government are proposing for the New Driving Test Age
You can still apply and receive a provisional licence at 17.
All learners must complete 100 hours daytime driving and 20 hours night time driving.
It gets worse:
In the first year of passing your driving test all new drivers will have a curfew running between 10pm – 5am, unless you are carrying a passenger aged over 30 who also holds a valid UK driving licence.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Young drivers drive around 5% of all the miles driven in Britain, but are involved in about 20% of the crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured.”
The bottom Line by Anthony Johnson:
The government have been talking about bumping the age limit up for as long as i’ve been a driving instructor (around 9 years). In my opinion, unless you put the age past 21, I don’t think we will see a massive difference. The problem is risk taking and not thinking of the consequences. There are some young people that will always push the boundaries for the adrenaline rush and their are others that won’t. No matter how many hours of driving instruction you have. As you get older you calm down or at least think of the consequences more. I know I didn’t start calming down a bit myself until I was at least 21.
A few things the Government need to consider:
1. I’ve had 17 year olds pass their driving test in under 20 hours of driving lessons, with only 1 or 2 minors. Yes, they lack experience on the road afterwards but would forcing them to do 120 hours of driving lessons increase complacency? Will it tempt these capable drivers to start driving illegally?
2. How will the DVSA or government go about monitoring the amount of hours taken? There’s been DVSA examiners on the news being arrested for taking bribes for driving tests. With that in mind, what’s to say dodgy instructors won’t start offering to sign off 120 hours for the pupils who are capable of passing the driving test for a few hundred pounds.
3. Why doesn’t the government address the use of the international licence? It’s common knowledge that you can purchase your driving licence in countries like India and Africa and then be legal to drive in the UK for a year before having to apply for a provisional driving licence. I’ve had first hand experience with someone who had an international licence but didn’t know which pedal was which when they took their first driving lesson in Milton Keynes. Quite a scary thought, this person was legal to drive around in the UK for a year.
What I would propose:
I believe a retest might work after 6 months of driving. If someone still has a clean licence then they would sit just a 20 minute test. If someone has 3 points on their licence or they have had a fault or non fault accident within 6 months then they should sit an extended version. If you fail, you have 6 weeks to seek further training before a retest. If you fail twice, your licence is taken off of you until you do pass.
Whats you views, let us know by leaving a comment.