Driving age in the UK set to be put back to 18

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Road safety and motoring groups are heralding a new Government commissioned report that will focus on how to reduce accident fatalities by focusing on young drivers. TRL, the transport research group, wrote the report that recommends that teenagers should not be allowed to take the driving test and obtain their permit until they are 18, 17 is the minimum age for the test now.

Instead, teenagers would have to go through a 12 month learning stage starting when they turn 17 which includes at least 20 hours of night time driving and 100 hours of day time driving supervised by an adult. After passing the test they would receive a probationary license and get a plate that is green with the letter ‘P’ on it.

Additional restrictions placed on their license would be a nighttime curfew between the hours of 10pm to 5am unless with an adult over the age of thirty. They also would not be allowed to have passengers in the car that are under the age of thirty during curfew hours.

The report also suggesting that all mobile phone use by young drivers should be banned in the car including hands-free mobile use. A lower alcohol limit was also suggested for young drivers. Once drivers passed the 12 month probationary license period they would be graduated to a full license and allowed unrestricted driving privileges.

TRL estimates that changing to the graduates licensing system would save the Government about £224 million and save about 4,400 lives on an annual basis. It explained that the figures apply to new drivers between the ages of 17 and 19 and that the system could be adapted to include all new drivers. If this was done then the costs and casualties would be reduced even more as a result.