The RAC have reported in a recent article that Ministers in the House of Commons are debating whether to further restrict new drivers, the suggested plans would enforce a restriction on new drivers from giving lifts to their young friends. The actions would prevent any driver under the age of 25 from driving young friends around to prevent so called peer pressure crashes.
This new rule if it were to be brought into being would obviously build on the current law regarding recently qualified drivers. As under the New Driver Regulations 1995 a driver is considered to be within a probationary period for the first two years after passing their driving test. If during that time a person accumulates six or more penalty points on their driving licence, then the licence is revoked. Said individual must then retake both aspects of their driving test before they can get back behind the wheel. This restriction is used as a deterrent to new drivers in order to stop them committing minor offences which can lead to penalty points being received. Should the new provisions be in force however, it would prevent new drivers from driving their friends around, the thought process obviously being that multiple young people in a car is a contributing factor to fatal road collisions.
Getting your first car is often a very exciting moment in a young persons life, that first taste of freedom and real independence. Being able to share that experience with friends and travel unhindered without the need for parent taxi’s is considered to be a pivotal moment in a person’s life. That being said youthful exuberance can lead to some rather unsafe behaviour, be that speeding or driving without a thought for other road users, as such it is unsurprising that this new restriction is being considered.
Ensuring that new drivers are not simply out for pleasure rides or travelling between friends’ houses acting foolishly could reduce road traffic collisions and save lives. The practicalities of enforcing such a law however are undoubtedly going to be difficult. Determining who to stop and when will be difficult for the police and could lead them to require more officers out on patrol.
At this stage it is only being debated by Parliament whether or not it becomes law remains to be seen.