Young drivers could be forced to wait until they turn 18 before they can take their driving test under a new Department for Transport proposal.
The Department for Transport has proposed raising the driving age in an attempt to curb the 25 per cent of traffic accidents caused by young drivers.
The change would see 17-year-old learners waiting an extra year and fulfilling strict criteria before they can take their test. Learners would also be required to undertake 120 hours of supervised learning, which could see teenagers paying more than £2,880.
New drivers would also face heavy restrictions upon their driving habits, a year long probationary period, and restrictions from driving between 10pm and 5am, unless accompanied by a passenger over 30.
“We urge the government to act swiftly and decisively by committing to a full system of graduated driver licensing” – Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of road safety charity Brake
It is believed that an introduction of such measures could potentially reduce casualty figures by 4,471 a year. However the proposal has been met with a mixed response from driving groups.
“What we’d like to see is to teach people to drive more carefully before they past their test,” said Automobile Association president Edmund King when speaking to the BBC.
It is so far unclear as to whether these proposals would also see a reduction in insurance costs in reflection of a higher driving standard achieved by young drivers.
The reaction from people on Twitter has been broadly negative with many youngsters seeing themselves as a soft target for new legislation, whilst highlighting a need for better training.
@itvnews would not change anything. Just lead to more 18 year olds being inexperienced at driving and even higher insurance premiums
— Ian Westhead (@Westhead73) October 11, 2013
@roadpoliceBCH Its not about age. Its about responsibility! Responsibility comes with education!
— Sam (@Smulers) October 11, 2013
@roadpoliceBCH terrible idea. Young drivers need more training and experience to become safer drivers. Current test system flawed
— John P (@jdp80) October 11, 2013