Young drivers may one day be prohibited from giving lifts to passengers until six to nine months after passing their driving test. The government is looking into the tactic with a view to reducing the disproportionately high number of deaths, crashes and claims by 17 to 24-year-old drivers.
The approach is being mulled by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. “I read regular reports where three or four young people have been killed in a car, and it’s a new driver, and you wonder what happened,” he told the Telegraph. “When I talk to young people who have recently passed their test, what they say sometimes is that peer pressure is put on them to go fast, to show off. There is a suggestion as to whether you should look at a restriction whether anyone could carry passengers for six or nine months when they have first passed their test.”
McLoughlin has a point. Statistics indicate an 18-year-old is over three times more likely than a 48-year-old to be involved in a crash. But some critics say not being able to carry passengers during the first few months of driving may have a negative effect.
“Young drivers themselves admit that they are lacking experience, but we don’t believe that restricting people – such as curfews at night and restricting the number of passengers they can carry – is the way to develop that experience,” said Neil Greig, from the institute of Advanced Motorists. “They need the opportunities to get to learn, by doing these things, by carrying young people, by going out at night – how else can they learn?”
At this time the idea is a long way from becoming law but the Department for Transport has said it will consider carefully any ideas that reduce the risks of accidents involving young drivers.
Do you think we should ban young drivers from driving passengers around in the first year? Or is it just unnecessary mollycoddling? Let us know.