The country’s most senior traffic police officer has called for a ‘graduated’ license scheme, which would prevent new drivers from driving on motorways or after dark, in a bid to improve road safety. New drivers would also face limits on how many passengers they can carry and would be forced to display ‘P’ plates, which are currently optional. The new rules would result in cheaper insurance for young drivers and would also bring Britain into line with other countries. Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, who works for Northamptonshire Police, is in charge of roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Her proposals would place new drivers on probation and subject them to extra rules for a period of time, after which they would receive a full licence without restrictions. Miss Davenport told the Mail on Sunday: “At the moment, people learn to drive mainly in calm residential streets when it’s light. They don’t have much experience of driving on busy A-roads or in the dark. “Yet as soon as they get a license they can drive on motorways at speed and carry as many passengers as they like. The vast majority are responsible but some – especially young people – take risks and drive too quickly. I am enthusiastic about graduated licences and I would like to put some constraints on new drivers.” She is also calling for all drivers to be banned from drinking any alcohol and for drivers caught using mobiles or laptops to be prosecuted. In addition, she supports a mandatory ‘P’ plates scheme and wants new drivers to take lessons in motorway driving. Graduated licenses already exist in Australia, New Zealand and parts of the US. Cardiff University researchers estimate that a graduated licence for 17-19-year-olds could cut road deaths by 200 a year and serious injuries by 1,700. The high number of accidents that involve newly qualified drivers has pushed up insurance costs for those aged 17-24. Premiums are now up to £6,000 a year, often more than the cost of the vehicle. What is your opinion? Will it help? Will it mean driving offences after being accidentally being out after dark? Would this be timed?Will insurance actually go down in price? Let us know your...Read More »
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