As part of a proposal that graduated driving licences be introduced to help reduce accident rates among young people particularly, the latest news is that the Department for Transport has suggested that newly qualified drivers be banned from the roads both at night and in the early hours. This has created something of a fuss. In fact, is it even fair?
Early commentators say that to ban new drivers from driving at night is an ineffective and punitive solution, despite the actual issue that is the high numbers of young drivers involved in serious accidents. After all, we already have telematics, like the ‘black box’ scheme, whereby young or novice drivers can be monitored with a view to quickly cutting their insurance premiums.
A Draconian Solution
We all have to learn, right? Every single person who has learned to drive has, one day, had to venture out on their own. The absence of a co-driver is certainly noticed as the novice struggles on into traffic; but we learn by doing.
For many people, a curfew on young motorists is at best heavy-handed. It is already widely accepted that engaging with young drivers from the outset to help them understand the risks of poor driving, such as speeding or use of devices, will have a direct influence on the driving behaviour of the majority. To stop new motorists from driving at night, a skill we all had to acquire quickly, will likely affect their social mobility and, potentially, affect employment chances for late workers.
By empowering young drivers to manage their driving behaviour by means of continuous learning and by providing information on their driving habits and different ways to stay safe seems a far fairer way forward.
A Good Idea Done Badly
It is certainly true that action needs to be taken. Our busy roads are dangerous for all and especially so for the inexperienced. It’s a good thing that the authorities are looking at ways to help reduce road accidents, but this curfew idea seems like a step too far. Something as draconian as this could have an unfair impact on their lives, like hampering earning potential. How will prospective employers feel if a new worker had to leave early in the dark winter months. They won’t care for it will they?
It is a fact that after eleven o’clock at night there are indeed significant increases to the risk of an accident for new or young drivers. Even in broad daylight there are enough road risks to contend with but the solution must be to assist drivers to improve their skills, not simply ban them. Alternatives like, P-Plating, vehicle power restrictions, black boxes, extended learning and limiting passengers in the early days seem more reasonable.
Looking on the bright side though, isn’t it great to be in a position to buy that first car? Helpfully, we always have a wide range of quality used vehicles
to choose from and some of them will certainly fit the bill as first cars. Better still, for safety’s sake, all our cars are fully AA inspected
before being offered for sale and our customers also get a fourteen day ‘test drive’
for complete satisfaction.