PCC welcomes proposals for a graduated licensing system for new drivers
I very much welcome in principle the report published by the RAC Foundation proposing a graduated licensing system for new drivers.
Most of us would accept that our driving ability significantly improved in the first few years after passing the test, as we gained experience. Common sense suggests that in large part this is due to our increased awareness and ability to anticipate risky or dangerous situations, and our understanding of the need to drive sensibly according to the conditions and our surroundings.
The RAC proposal is that, in Stage One, drivers should experience a wide range of conditions including winter and night time driving over a period of one year before taking the test. In Stage Two, after the test has been passed, there would a further year of restrictions such as limiting the number of passengers a new driver could carry, and avoiding driving at night. The third stage would involve a two-year probationary period where any new driver receiving six penalty points or more would have to undertake a new driving test.
Whilst some of details should still be subject to consultation and discussion, the broad framework proposed by the RAC seems highly sensible to me. The fact that at present four young drivers are killed or seriously injured every day on UK roads is shocking. We must do more to reduce this number.
One clear means of achieving this is to help new drivers to gain experience in a sensible, graduated fashion and to ensure they understand the inherent risks. This knowledge should enable new motorists to drive in such a way as to reduce the risks both to themselves and other people.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex