Teenagers could have to wait until 18 to take their driving test and 19 before they can hold a full licence under new proposals being considered by the Department for Transport.

A report produced by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) supports the introduction of a graduated driver licensing scheme that would result in estimated annual savings of 4,471 casualties and £224 million.

Young drivers drive around 5% of all the miles driven in Britain but are involved in about 20% of the crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured.

The new graduated scheme would:

  • Introduce a 12 month ‘learner stage’ beginning at age 17, which would require log-book records of at least 120 hours of supervised practice, including 20 hours at night.
  • A 12-month probationary period after passing where drivers would be required to carry a green ‘P’ plate on their car. This would also include a ban on carrying passengers under 30 or from driving between the hours of 10pm and 5am unless accompanied by an adult over 30.
  • A 12-month restriction on night driving and using a hands-free mobile for all new drivers.

The Department for Transport is expected to use the suggestions in a green paper due for publication shortly.

“The BVRLA welcomes the outcome of this research which further supports rental members who restrict the services they offer to drivers with less experience” said Legal and Policy Director Jay Parmar.

Currently drivers in England, Scotland and Wales need to pass a theory test, then a practical test before they can apply for a full driving licence. The minimum age to hold a full car licence is 17, or 16 for some people claiming mobility benefit.

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