The Government is considering a proposal which could see learner drivers having to wait until they are 18 to take their driving test. But are young people being unfairly labelled as irresponsible? We take a look at the figures and discuss our own learning experiences at HCDIS.

According to a report from Sky News, the Government commissioned a report by the Transport Research Laboratory which revealed that more than a fifth of road deaths in 2011 involved 17-24 year olds.

The Department for Transport were quoted saying that young people are involved in 20% of crashes in Britain.

But, why aren’t we talking about the other 80% that don’t involve young people?
Isn’t it more sensible to look at further training for adults on the road? We’re all guilty of developing bad habits but how often do people make a conservative effort to improve their driving? As we get older there could also be health implications that could impact on our driving ability. Surely a better way to improve road safety is to look at the bigger majority of road users than a small minority?

The proposal

Here’s the details of the proposal the Government is considering:

  • Young people will still be granted a provisional licence at 17
  • But, they would have to complete 100 hours of daytime driving and 20 hours at night
  • After a 12-month ‘learner stage’ the young person could then attempt their test once they had passed their 18th birthday
  • Newly qualified drivers would have a curfew between 10pm and 5am unless driving with a person aged over 30 in the car

We’ve been discussing our own learning experiences and it made us wonder what impact a proposal like this might have on the economy.
Many young people who have their mind set on their future often learn to drive as soon as they can.
Jemma Redden, our marketing officer, knew driving was imperative for her future career.
She said: “I learnt to drive at 17 because I knew I wanted to train as a journalist and it was essential that I could jump in the car to get to a scene of a story as soon as possible.

“If I had to wait to drive then I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford it until later in life and I might not have been able to get the job I wanted.”
Mike Brown, General Manager at HCDIS, also learnt to drive at 17 so he was able to get to and from college and later university which was hundreds of miles from his home.
He said: “Rather than focussing on young and newly qualified drivers how about we take a closer look at those who have been driving for some time. I’m interested to see the Government’s proposal for further driver training for the elderly.”
Chantelle Pears works in our admin team and is currently learning to drive. She is 21-years-old and has had around 15 lessons.
“I’m learning to drive to get my independence. My friends don’t live in the same village and relying on public transport can be a nightmare.

“If this proposal came in I would feel frustrated. It’s not just young people who are bad drivers and it’s really unfair to just blame them.”

Your thoughts

We want to know what you think about the proposal. Post a comment below and share this story.