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In a recent report published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) it is suggested that strict new regulations should be placed on both recently passed and learner drivers. The call for these radical new regulations comes as a result of the worrying statistics surrounding young drivers in the UK. So what regulations have the ABI suggested?

What Are The Suggested Regulations?

–    Learner drivers must spend a minimum of 1 year as a learner before taking their driving test.
–    The age restriction should be lowered by half a year making the new age that a person can learn to drive 16.5.
–    Introducing a restriction on the number of passengers allowed in the car in the first 6 months of passing the test.
–    The ‘drink-drive’ limit should be lowered to 0 blood alcohol content in the first 6 months of passing the test.
–    Newly passed drivers should not be permitted to drive between 11pm and 4am in the first 6 months of passing the test.
–    Introducing a ban on taking intensive driving course as the only means of learning how to drive.

Why Introduce Such Strict Regulations?

The response to these suggested changes has been varied but for many young people in the UK who are eagerly waiting for the moment that they can get on the roads, the resounding question is ‘why?’
The suggestion of these changes is actually backed up by some pretty worrying statistics that have left a lot of us wondering why similar changes haven’t been brought in already!
–    Only 1 in 8 of all licenced drivers in the UK are aged 25 or under but worryingly, this age group makes up 1/3 of all deaths on the road.
–    ABI found that over 1/4 over of personal injury claims amounting to over £500,000 was a result of an accident involving a driver aged 25 or under.
–    When comparing a 48 year old driver to an 18 year old driver, it was found that the 18 year old is three times more likely to be involved in a car crash.
–    There is an increased likelihood of young drivers being involved in crashes that result in 3-5 expensive personal injury claims. This reflects the increased risk of being involved in an accident while carrying multiple passengers.

Will The Restrictions Ever Be Effective?

While it is absolutely clear that there needs to be some form of overhaul, are these suggested restrictions the rights ones? Unfortunately, there seems to be a number of significant flaws in these recommendations.
Spending a Year behind the Wheel
Although the requirement to spend a year behind the wheel as a learner may seem a sure-fire way to ensure that learners have experience before taking the test, in reality that may not be the case.
Spending a year as a learner driver has no bearing on the amount of time that each learner will actually spend behind the wheel. For example, a learner that goes out driving every evening for 2 months will have more experience than a driver that has one driving lesson a week for a year. Maybe a restriction on the amount of hours spent behind the wheel would be more effective?

Will These Restrictions Be Enforced?

Of course regulating the reduced alcohol level is entirely possible and fair, as is the restricted number of passengers allowed in the car. However, the restriction on night-time driving, while understandable, would be almost impossible to enforce and could often be anything but fair.
What would happen, for example, to a newly passed driver that set out on a half an hour journey at 9.30 but was unexpectedly caught in a traffic jam and was still out on the roads at 11.10? Furthermore, what about those working on night shifts?
Unfortunately, there are many flaws to these suggested stricter regulations; however, there is clearly a need for some form of regulations along these lines. It seems that it’s only a matter of time before learner driver will face tougher tests or restrictions once they’ve passed; we’ll have to wait and see!

This article was written by Jennifer Griffiths on behalf of Insure 4 a Day. If you’re a responsible driver looking for temporary car insurance and you have held your driving licence for over 12 months, Insure 4 a Day should be your first port of call.