Driving licences get even harder to obtain
Seventeen year olds could face a year’s wait before they can even get behind the wheel of a car and to take the test. There have been plans for the government to only issue 12 month probationary driving licences to people above the age of 18. This is to try and cut down on the number of young deaths on the road. In addition to this, the young motorists wouldn’t be allowed to drive between the hours of 10pm and 5am unless an adult of over 30 is in the car.
This comes with a training year which starts at the age of 17 which would consist of 100 hours of daytime driving practice and 20 hours of night time practice with it all being supervised. Once they have had the lessons, they can proceed with taking the test. If they pass the test they will be issued with a probationary licence and will be required to show a green pass plate on their car. They will also have to stick to a curfew and won’t be able to drive anyone under 30 years old around if the driver is under 30 themselves. Another set of rules will be to ban all use of mobile telephone communication which could include Bluetooth and other hands free devices. A lower alcohol limit could be set too.
After a year of probationary driving, they would then be issued a full licence and all restrictions would be lifted. If the law came into place, an estimated 4471 casualties of 17-24 year olds would be cut. This would save an estimated £224m.
A 17 year old non driver said “it is becoming increasingly harder to do anything these days and now driving is one of them. If this law comes into place it would be more of a punishment for me and will incline me to go the other way when I get my full licence. I don’t see how focusing on just young drivers will affect the amount of annual casualties. Accidents happen, no matter what age.”
Programmes such as Mercedes-Benz driving academy offer head start driving lessons to people as young as 16 to help them learn road safety and how to be a better driver. Surely programmes like these would be better than making the age of driving go up and getting more restrictions; surely the law should be letting people learn at a younger age to improve road safety.
A study in 2011 showed that 10,974 drivers over the age of 70 were involved in crashes. This compares with 11,946 of drivers aged 17-19 which compared to 24,007 accidents involving 20-24 year olds. So if there will be a tighter law for young drivers, does that mean there will be one for elderly drivers too?
A 14 year old said “I have dreamt of driving for as long as I can remember and I still have a little way off before I can drive at the moment but if this law comes into place, it will be even longer. I think that age isn’t the only factor. It depends on the individual as well. Some people are admittedly irresponsible but not all are, but because of the irresponsible people, we all have to suffer. I think the answer is tougher driving tests to ensure safer drivers are let onto the road regardless of their age.”
So with it getting increasingly harder for young people to finally drive, is just simply making the age of driving go up and enforcing tighter laws really the solution? After all, sensibility and safety doesn’t always have to come with age.