Young drivers who recently passed their tests could be banned from giving lifts to friends
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Drivers under the age of 25 could face a ban on having other young passengers in their vehicles as part of a “graduated driving licence”. UK ministers have been considering the new rule in order to stop peer-pressure car crashes caused by young drivers with passengers.
The new rule would mean young drivers would be banned from offering lifts in the first years of having their licence. While young drivers only make up 6 percent of UK drivers, they account for one in five fatal car crashes.
Under the current legislation there is nothing preventing young new drivers to bring their friends along for a ride. However, drivers do have to pass their two year probationary period where they are only allowed six points on their licence before it is revoked.
Although no new law change has been confirmed, critics of a change in the rules state drivers under 25 account for fewer crashes than those over 85, but no discussions on older drivers are taking place. Groups such as the Support for Victims of Road Crashes, who act as advisors to the Department for Transport (DfT) have expressed their support for the plans.
Part of the group is Sharron Huddleston, whose daughter Caitlin, 18, was killed in a car crash while taking a lift with her friend. She said: "It has left a huge, gaping hole in our family. Every Christmas, every birthday, it is just devastating.
"There is nothing I can do to bring Caitlin back but I am determined, in her memory, to ensure that no other family goes through the pain and agony that we go through every day."
The future of the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act is set to be discussed in parliament this month, and an official announcement is expected after the meeting on May 16. Following the news, the DfT said: "Every death or serious injury on our roads is a tragedy and we continue to work tirelessly to improve road safety for all users.
“Our approach to improving safety for new and novice drivers is through new technology and improving education, while reinforcing vital road safety messages through our Think! Campaign.”
Simon Williams, road safety spokesman for insurance company RAC, said: “We’re very pleased to see that graduated driving licences are once again under consideration more than three and a half years after the Government last said it would look into their merits. Young people, and especially young men, continue to be massively over-represented in road collision statistics, so introducing restrictions that are gradually reduced over the first few years of driving may be one of the measures needed to bring the dreadful numbers down.