AS Law student response to proposed new driver laws

Response to BBC article on proposals and suggestions by ABI for laws on new drivers


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  • Created on: 13-12-12 22:10
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Drivers `should be made to learn for a year': A Report Abi Prettyman
The BBC have released and published an article on
potential driving restrictions for new drivers, as called for
by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
These restrictions include young drivers requiring to spend
a year learning to drive. It does not specify how they will
regulate what constitutes as a year. Could a new driver
merely have 2 lessons a year apart? I suspect that this will
be amended to include a set number of hours with
approved instructors as is the case in other countries
already. For example, new drivers in Israel must have X
number of lessons with approved instructors. This potential
Law could state that there will be a requirement of certain
number of hours within this year spent learning to drive.
The ABI have also said that drivers should be able to begin
learning 6 months before their 17th birthday. Again this is
much like Israel and also, Like the USA where new drivers
can start learning 6 months before the legal age.
The ABI wish to abolish intensive `crash courses' that claim
to help a driver to pass in a short amount of time. This
makes a lot of sense as spending so little time learning
removes any chance to road experience and familiarity.
Much like revising for a test or exam, ask any student and
chances are that 6 months afterwards (unless resitting) they
have forgotten a large percentage of what they learnt for
the exam. If new drivers have all the information forced
upon them in one go under pressure, chances are they are
more likely to forget this information or slip up after
passing and this is highly dangerous.
Insurers have put forward a new idea as part of the
reforms they wish to see. This is the idea of a `graduated'
licence for the first six months after passing a practical
driving test. This graduated licence would restrict the
number of young passengers a young driver themselves
could carry. This is also already the case in Israel. They
also suggest a ban on nighttime driving (between 11pm and
4am) unless it is for school, college or work. A complete ban
on any blood alcohol within this period has been advised.
The limit for fully qualified drivers is 35mg alcohol per
100ml of breath/80mg per 100ml blood/ 107mg alcohol per
100ml urine. This would be at 0mg/100ml in all cases for
new drivers within this graduated period.
Although it is true that young drivers are most at risk of
crashes and new drivers are more likely to be dangerous on
the road, these are not necessarily the same thing. Even

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Drivers `should be made to learn for a year': A Report Abi Prettyman
though many people learn to drive when they are young,
there is still a number who learn in their late 20s or even
older, what would be the laws then? Would they still have to
abide by the idea of a graduated licence even though it is
aimed at young people? Or would there be an over 25s
graduated licence where the restrictions exist in a less
severe form.…read more


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