Tougher teenager driving restrictions welcomed in Gloucester
TEENAGERS could have to wait an extra year before they are allowed to take their driving test.
New Government plans suggest issuing 12-month provisional licences from the age of 18 in a bid to cut accidents involving young motorists.
More than a fifth of deaths on British roads in 2011 involved drivers aged 17 to 24.
New drivers would also be banned from driving between 10pm and 5am unless they travel with a passenger aged over 30.
Bring a friend to Yoga with Evelyn at 8pm on Wednesdays, and get...View details
Bring a friend to Evelyn’s “Yoga” class on Wednesdays at 8-9pm, and get your class half for only £3. Offer open to non-members. Contact Natasha on 07958 520042 for details.
Terms: Class running at Fitness4Less, Grosvenor terrace. Non-members welcome.
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Learner driver Alice Perry, 19, from Hardwicke, said: "A lot of young people might not be happy about it because they are going to feel more restricted but if it makes the roads safer, then it is a good idea."
Tuffley driving instructor Andy Carroll said: "A curfew at night can only be a good thing. It will take away the peer pressure of taking risks late at night and hopefully reduce drink driving.
"Anything that improves road safety has got to be a good thing."
A one-year 'learner stage' beginning at 17, during which drivers would have to total 100 hours of day-time and 20 hours of night-time practice under supervision, has been proposed.
Learners can then take their test at 18 and, if they pass, will be awarded a probationary licence.
They would then have to display a 'P' plate on their vehicle.
Young drivers could also be handed a lower alcohol limit and even hands-free use of mobile phones would be forbidden.
After the 12-month period, drivers would automatically graduate to a full licence.
Gloucestershire's roads policing inspector Jason Keates said: "Young people tend to be disproportionately involved in crashes and that's probably down to them not using their driving skills. It can be improved with better education.
"Learners could learn to drive earlier, but only be allowed to drive unaccompanied after 12 to 18 months, to give them time to learn the skills they need.
"It is possible to pass your driving test after two to three months. Twelve months' experience of being supervised could help develop those skills you need for the road."
Gloucestershire's police and crime commissioner Martin Surl has previously committed to giving every young person in Gloucestershire a good understanding of safe driving.
His pledge came after a series of young deaths on the county's roads in recent months.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Young drivers drive around five per cent of all the miles driven in Britain but are involved in about 20 per cent of the crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured.
"We are committed to improving safety for young drivers."