Driving licence updates would have seen younger drivers issued night-time curfews and limits on the number of passengers in their vehicles. However, roads minister Baroness Vere has confirmed that work would be abandoned on introducing a graduated driving licence scheme due to restrictions on employment for young people.
Instead of introducing the new system, the government has confirmed driving lessons would be restructured to enable stronger tuition.
As part of the changes, learner drivers will take a new modular curriculum which will raise awareness on many issues facing young drivers.
This includes how to drive in adverse weather conditions and how to deal with distractions while behind the wheel.
How to tackle rural roads and the issues surrounding high speeds will also be covered in a bid to boost road safety.
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“The Department for Transport’s latest decision is unexpected, but a real coup for young people all over the country.
“We’re extremely pleased to see the government has taken the younger generation’s wishes into consideration on the matter.
“Restricting young drivers will never be the answer to improving road safety, especially in the midst of a pandemic.
“The younger generations have been impacted most by the economic fallout of COVID-19 and have already suffered the most from a constricted job market.”
He backed the new skills-based learning system which would help “build confidence” of those unaware of how to deal with severe road conditions.
He said: “The original proposal threatened to affect job opportunities as well as support networks built around friends and families – particularly in rural areas where public transport options are limited.
“The new proposed driving lesson format supports RED’s view of helping drivers of all ages to develop their skills behind the wheel.
“Young people are often blamed for causing road traffic accidents, but in reality these are driven by a lack of experience rather than age.
“Ensuring all new drivers are comfortable driving in adverse conditions, such as wet weather, late at night or on rural roads can only help to build confidence and provide a realistic picture of what driving year-round entails.”