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Young driver rule changes to boost safety and cut insurance costs

Young driver rule changes to boost safety and cut insurance costs

Government proposals could boost the skills of young drivers while simultaneously reducing risk on Britain's roads and driving down car insurance costs through the launch of a new green paper.

Launched this week at a motor insurance industry summit hosted by the Department of Transport, the green paper addresses ways in which recently qualified drivers, particularly those of a young age, can drive more safely.

Some of the changes mooted include a minimum period of learning time that must pass before a test can be sat and allowing learners to have lessons on motorways, in darkness and in adverse weather conditions to provide extra practice.

The test itself may be made more rigorous to encourage learners to prepare better for getting behind the wheel unsupervised. 

After a driver has passed their test, an increase to the probationary period from two to three years has been suggested, during which a new licence can be revoked if a driver earns six or more points. Furthermore, the report says there should be greater incentives to encourage young drivers to take extra lessons after they have become a qualified driver.

Other measures have also been discussed, such as restricting young motorists from driving at night time and limiting the number of passengers they are allowed to carry.

The government has been spurred to create the green paper because of the disproportionate number of drivers aged 17 to 24 involved in road traffic accidents. A fifth of accidents in 2011 that involved a death or serious injury involved at least one person in this age bracket.

"Improving the safety of our young drivers is therefore a real priority and will not only reduce casualties but should also mean a reduction in the sky-high insurance premiums they pay," said transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

"I have been clear that I want to see insurance premiums reflecting conditions, performance and risks on the road. We have already done much as a government to address the concerns around motor insurance but more still needs to be done before young drivers feel satisfied they are getting value for money."

Posted by Louise ClarkADNFCR-3205-ID-801564117-ADNFCR