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Learner drivers could face restrictions after passing test

Auto Express logo Auto Express 07/02/2018 Hugog
Learner, driving test, driving licence, pass, l plate © Auto Express Learner, driving test, driving licence, pass, l plate

Learner drivers who have recently passed their test could face limitations on their licences, after the Prime Minister announced she is to ask the Department for Transport (DfT) to investigate the idea of “graduated licences”.

Jenny Chapman, the Labour MP for Darlington, asked Theresa May during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) if a graduated licence system would be introduced in the UK, in light of the fact that a quarter of new drivers are involved in an accident in the first two years of starting to drive.

Chapman also highlighted that 400 young drivers are killed or seriously injured on UK roads each year.

Learner drivers on Motorway © Auto Express Learner drivers on Motorway

Responding to this question, the Prime Minister said Chapman had raised “an important issue”, and said she would “certainly look at the request she has made.” May went on to say that she would “ask the Department for Transport to look at this as an issue.”

New drivers currently lose their licences if they accrue six penalty points within two years of passing their test, while more experienced drivers must be endorsed with 12 penalty points before being banned from the road. The UK, unlike some countries, places no other restrictions on novice motorists.

Long-term test - Suzuki Ignis - learner sticker © Auto Express Long-term test - Suzuki Ignis - learner sticker

By contrast, drivers in Northern Ireland must display amber ‘R’ plates (short for ‘restricted’) for the first year after passing their tests, and are not allowed to drive over 45mph.

Drivers in Ireland, meanwhile, must show ‘N’ plates (short for ‘novice’) on their cars for two years after passing their tests, and are subject to lower drink drive limits than more established motorists.

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