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Majority of British public back restrictions on new drivers

With research showing that drivers aged between 17 and 19 make up just 1.5% of those holding a UK licence, but are involved in 9% of fatal crashes, road safety charity Brake asked members of the public about a possible graduated driving licensing system, which is now in place in a number of countries around the world.

When asked what restrictions should be in place for the first year after someone is given a driving licence, two-thirds (66%) of people questioned said they support the use of a “P” plate. A similar number back a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit for novice drivers.

Half of those questioned said they think there should be a restriction on car engine sizes for new drivers, and more than a third of people think that a newly qualified driver should lose their licence if they break any traffic laws during their first year on the road.

Almost eight in 10 people (79%) said they think there should be a minimum time frame for learning to drive, and almost two-thirds (62%) think that should be at least six months.

Three quarters of people (75%) said they think there should be a requirement for a minimum number of taught hours before learner drivers are allowed to take their practical test. Half of those questioned (50%) said they think people should have at least 35 hours of driving lessons before taking their on-the-road test.

Alice Bailey, communications and campaigns adviser for Brake, said: “We must do more to help keep young people safe behind the wheel. Countries and states that have introduced restrictions for newly qualified drivers have seen big drops in crash rates.

“We’re pleased to hear the Government has announced plans for a full review into the current driving test this year, with a view to making it more like “real life driving” but the introduction of graduated driving licensing would make young and novice drivers much safer and save lives.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.