In a significant push for road safety, there’s a proposal on the horizon that could revolutionize the way young drivers, specifically those under the age of 25, are introduced to the roads.
A compelling campaign has been launched, advocating for the inception of a “progressive licensing system,” a move aimed at imposing stringent restrictions on this demographic to curb road accidents.
The proposition, spearheaded by a newly formed petition, suggests a radical alteration to current driving licence regulations, particularly focusing on limiting the mobility of young motorists during nocturnal hours and restricting their ability to carry passengers, including friends and family. This initiative has quickly garnered substantial support, with a remarkable number of endorsements from the public, signaling a widespread consensus on the need for change.
Crystal Owen, the visionary behind this campaign, articulates a pressing concern for the safety of young drivers, highlighted by alarming statistics that underscore the gravity of road-related fatalities and injuries among the 17 to 24 age group. Owen’s advocacy for a “progressive licensing system” is bolstered by international precedents from Canada and New Zealand, where similar measures have led to a significant reduction in crash rates among young drivers.
The proposed system envisages a mandatory “minimum learning period” of 40 hours, aimed at ensuring that novice drivers acquire comprehensive driving experience across a variety of road conditions and scenarios. This initiative seeks to address the current lack of a statutory minimum training duration before undertaking the practical driving test. Additionally, the scheme suggests a prohibition on driving activities for individuals under 25 between midnight and 6am, alongside a 12-month passenger ban for newly qualified drivers, complemented by compulsory hazard perception training.
With over 5,400 signatures already secured and the petition open until August 2024, the campaign is on a clear trajectory to reach its initial milestone of 10,000 signatures, necessitating a formal response from the government. However, the ultimate goal remains to amass 100,000 signatures, a threshold that would trigger a parliamentary debate on the issue.
This initiative has already received backing from influential bodies such as Support for Victims of Road Crashes, advising the Department for Transport (DfT), and has previously garnered support from the National Police Chief’s Council, underscoring a collective recognition of the potential benefits of a graduated driving licence system for enhancing road safety.