More than 90% of drivers feel that the UK driving test is no longer fit for purpose, a survey from safety and breakdown specialist GEM Motoring Assist has shown. Those surveyed would prefer a graduated driver licensing (GDL) system, similar to that in New Zealand, used instead.
This would consist a minimum learning period of 12 months before taking a test and a ‘novice’ status of two years after passing the test that includes banning drivers from carrying passengers under 25 and includes a night-time driving curfew unless driving to or from work, and an automatic disqualification for any driving offence.
“Where versions of GDL are already in place, the reduction in young and novice driver collisions has been remarkable,” GEM road safety officer Neil Worth says. “For example, research from TRL shows that 16-year-old drivers in the USA who learnt to drive through GDL systems 15 years ago had 37 per cent fewer crashes than those who followed other systems.
“Elsewhere, following the introduction of GDL in New Zealand, injuries from road traffic collisions reduced by almost a quarter for 15- to 19-year olds.”
According to Mr Worth, GDL adds that all-important intermediate element between a learner and a full license holder that allows new drivers to build up their skills and experience over time and uses clearly marked stages.
“GEM members are holding the Government to account for failing to prioritise young driver safety,” he concludes, “and for wasting lives and money. We believe that GDL, if it goes hand in hand with improvements to public transport across the country, could form a key part of a safer and more sustainable transport future for everyone.”