Driving: Young People

Department for Transport written question – answered on 11th July 2018.

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Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Labour, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the safety of young people of driving vehicles with high brake horse power.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Young drivers are generally more likely to be killed or seriously injured than car drivers aged 25 or over.

There are no current plans to limit the engine capacity that young drivers are able to drive, as this would not address the many fatal and serious accidents which occur at lower speeds.

The Department will, however, monitor the results of the introduction of Graduated Driver Licencing (GDL) in Northern Ireland. GDL is a staged approach to fully independent driving, which can include a number of different components related to pre- and post-test restrictions. This includes the imposition of restrictions, such as not carrying peer aged passengers or night time driving.

In addition, as highlighted in the Road Safety Statement, the Department is about to trial the effectiveness of a range of measures to improve the safety of young and novice drivers, both before they take their test and after passing it.

Many new drivers are young drivers, and we have recently updated the driving test both to ensure new drivers have the skills they will need through a lifetime of safe driving, and to reflect better the situations they may encounter when they first start driving unaccompanied. For example, the independent driving time is set to increase, and during this time candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.

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