Young Drivers

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As many people do I have a member of the family that is currently learning to drive, my brother in law. Like many he has been taking lessons in fits and spats for over two years now and has and finally nailed down a string of lessons that will run up until his test. As well as financial constraints, his problem was that he never felt completely comfortable with. Now I am pleased to say, he has finally found one to complete his driving tuition with at Roadmaters, one of the available driving schools in exeter.

After many discussions about his tuition, I was surprised to learn of some of the changes to the test programme since I passed seven years ago. In a relatively short period of time there seems to have been a few major differences to the test. The first being a hazard awareness test that I never had to take. I also believe there is a change to the standard theory test as of September 2007 where the test is out of more questions and a higher percentage is required for a pass rate.

I gather that these changes are meant to be another way of ensuring that young drivers are responsible and have the skills needed when they are first are granted their licence. I realise that something like 1 in four accidents involves drivers under 25, but does this mean they are necessarily unsafe on the road and in need of further legislation?

“In 2006, 23% of drivers killed were aged between 18 and 25 years. And yet, this age group only represents 14% of Victorian licence holders.” > from

I know I have been in the car with older drivers that freely admit they would not pass today’s test, yet have never been in an accident in their life. I have also experienced plenty of incompetent drivers that are freely allowed to go about their daily driving lives.

Although I agree test standard improvements can only be good, my point is whether this is an easy course of blame for what are becoming increasingly dangerous roads, and such measures just another way to penalise young drivers. We are already paying through the roof for insurance and road tax.

“Drivers aged 65 years or over have a higher risk (per distance travelled) of being killed in a crash than any other age group.” >from

There are plenty of statistics that can be used to support a certain point of view. My aim is not to side with one or the other. But if creating safer roads by having safer drivers is the aim here, should we not implement a recap course to be taken at given periods by licence holders, (or something of the like), so that every driver on the road continues to learn how to be a safe and responsible driver?


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