News from Brake
Thursday, 8 February 2018
The Prime Minister has stated that she will ask the Department for Transport to look into the issue of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) in the UK, in response to a question from Jenny Chapman MP at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, 7 February.
Commenting on the statement, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “Ensuring that novice drivers have the skills and experience to drive safely on all types of roads, and in all scenarios, is an urgent priority. Our current licensing system is not fit for purpose and throws newly-qualified drivers in at the deep-end, at great risk to themselves and others.
“We are encouraged that the Government will look into the issue of Graduated Driver Licensing, however, this process must result in positive change. Young and novice drivers are involved in a disproportionate number of road crashes  and the introduction of a comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing system is critical to reverse this trend.
“Brake is calling upon the Government to bring the UK’s licensing system in line with best practice worldwide, requiring a minimum of 10 hours professional tuition for learner drivers and introducing a novice license, with restrictions in place for two years following on from the practical driving test . We look forward to working with the Government on their review of this issue.”
Notes to editors
Brake’s position on GDL
Brake recommends the following measures should be implemented to introduce Graduated Driver Licensing to the UK.
- Minimum learning period of one year before learner drivers can take their practical driving test, theory test and hazard awareness test.
- The learner’s licence should not be fully valid until the learner driver has received a minimum of 10 hours’ professional tuition in a car with dual controls.
- Learner drivers, as at present, must be supervised while driving, and the minimum age of accompanying drivers should be raised to 25.
- Accompanying drivers should be registered as ‘approved accompanying drivers’ by completing a questionnaire to prove their suitability.
- Learner drivers should have the same restrictions placed upon them as novice drivers (see below).
- Drivers should hold a novice licence for two years after passing a practical driving test.
- Novice drivers should be allowed to drive unsupervised, but with certain restrictions on their driving, including:
- Novice drivers should not carry passengers who are younger than 25 unless supervised. Novice drivers who are parents or carers and need to carry children should be exempt from this restriction.
- Novice drivers should not drive between 11pm and 6am, unless supervised or travelling directly from home to work or school.
- Novice drivers should have a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg of alcohol per 100ml blood (Brake recommends this for all drivers).
- Novice drivers should not drive on motorways.
- Novice drivers should be restricted in the size of engine they can drive.
- Any driving offences, or failure to comply with the restrictions during this period, should result in automatic disqualification.
- Novice drivers should be required to take a further 10 hours of professional tuition, during which they must drive on motorways and at night.
- Novice drivers should be required to pass a second driving test at the end of the two year period to help ensure safe driving on all types of roads.
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.