In an effort to considerably improve road safety in the UK, the Department for Transports might introduce specific restrictions to new drivers.
In 2018, the UK had the lowest road fatality rate of the EU, with “only” 28 deaths per million inhabitants. However, the Department for Transport wants to do better with its Road Safety Action Plan, published on the 19th of July. The potential measures to be tried will be aiming to decrease the rate of new drivers being involved in accidents within their first year of driving, which is currently 20 percent.
Regarding newly certified drivers, the government is considering introducing a minimum learning period, a minimum age for the passengers the new driver can allow in their vehicle, and most importantly, a ban on driving at night.
A ban in driving at night has raised concerns in the past regarding young drivers’ access to education and employment.
It is not the first time forbidding night driving for newly passed drivers has been on the table. It has however raised concerns in the past, as it was suggested this might impair young people’s access to higher education and employment in some fields. However, director of campaigns for Brake (a road safety charity) Joshua Harris welcomed the new set of rules, saying that
“Newly qualified drivers, particularly young males, are a high road safety risk and much of this can be put down to lack of experience and overconfidence.” The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident’s head Nick Loyd also voiced the society’s approval, adding that these measures would “allow young drivers to gain valuable experience, while reducing the risks associated with night-time driving and the carrying of multiple passengers.”
The period during which a new driver would have to respect these measures has not yet been announced by the DfT.