What do the proposed changes to learners mean to you?
For a while now, there have been discussions around how to improve the standards of our young drivers. Changes to the laws allowing young drivers to gain their licences will soon be up for review by the government, and the consequences will be significant to anyone preparing to learn to drive.
The first change being discussed will be to raise the age at which you can have your full licence. At present, you can begin learning to drive at 17, and can then take your test when you feel you are ready to drive by yourself. Under new proposals, you will still be able o begin learning at 17, but you will not be able to take your test until you reach 18. Also, rather than taking the test when you are ready, you will have to complete a minimum of 100 hours on the road, using a log book to track your progress.
Once you have passed your test, there would then be further conditions imposed upon your driving, meaning you would be on a “probationary” licence for 12 months. ‘P’ plates could become compulsory, instead of optional like they are at the moment. Curfews could also apply, meaning that you could not drive between the hours of 10pm and 5am unless accompanied by an adult over the age of 30, and there could be restrictions on carrying passengers at all if they are under the age of 30.
Finally, there would be tougher restrictions on drink-driving limits, and no use of mobile phones, including hands free kits.
So will this solve the problems which make young drivers more likely to be involved in accidents? Or is it simply going to put people off from learning to drive? Would you still be able to drive during the curfew if it was an emergency, or if your job required you to?
There are a lot of questions still to be answered about the proposals, and only time will tell what the changes will really mean to people.