The road safety campaigners want to see changes made to the licensing regime to help improve the safety of new drivers and are calling for the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licensing system.

The data was obtained from the DVLA by a freedom of information request submitted by Brake. The FOI revealed that 11,953 new drivers had their licence revoked under the New Drivers Act in 2018, with drivers aged 17-24 making up almost two thirds (62%) of the total. [1]

Drivers aged 17-24 are disproportionately at risk on Britain’s roads. They represent nearly a fifth of all drivers killed and seriously injured on the roads but make up only 7% of all licence holders. [2]

Under the New Drivers Act, drivers who get six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test have their licence revoked. If they wish to drive again, they are required to re-apply and pay for a new provisional licence and pass both theory and practical parts of the driving or riding test again. [3]

Brake believes these findings show that more needs to be done to ensure young drivers are safe on the roads. They are calling for the introduction of a comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system across the UK.

This system would include a 12-month learner period, an initial test, and then a two-year novice period when drivers can drive independently but with restrictions – such as a late-night driving curfew. [4]

The Government announced in its recent two-year Road Safety Action Plan that it will explore the issue of Graduated Driver Licensing further in a bid to cut new driver crashes.

They have committed to look at the impact of limiting what less experienced drivers can do in their first few months on the road.

These schemes could put restrictions on new drivers, such as a minimum learning period, not driving at night, or not driving with passengers under a certain age in the car. [5]

Commenting, director of campaigns for Brake, Joshua Harris said: “It’s shocking that so many new drivers are racking up enough penalty points to have their licences revoked so soon after passing their test, in particular those in the 17-24 age bracket. It clearly demonstrates that we need to make our licensing system more robust so that when a driver passes their test, they have all the necessary tools and knowledge to drive safely on all roads and in all conditions. Fortunately, there is a proven solution which can deliver this, Graduated Driver Licensing.

“The Government’s announcement that they will explore the issue of GDL further is welcome. Swift and decisive action must, however, be taken to introduce GDL across the UK, as a priority to ensure new drivers have the skills and experience they need and to end the tragedy of young people dying on our roads.”

Notes to editors:

[1] – FOIR 7553 – Brake asked the DVLA: For the years 2016, 2017 and 2018, how many drivers had their license cancelled (revoked) due to receiving 6 or more points within 2 years of passing their test? Please breakdown this data by age and gender and provide separate data for each year.

[2] RAS 30011, Reported killed or seriously injured casualties by gender, road user type and age, Great Britain, 2018

[3] New Drivers Act explanation can be found here.

[4] Detailed definition of a Graduated Driver Licencing system can be found here.

[5] The road safety statement 2019: a lifetime of road safety, Department for Transport, 2019