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Younger drivers

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'Making drivers learn for a year':


Just putting some arbitrary timescale on the learning process shows a complete lack of understanding about how people learn at different rates. Some folk, once they have grasped the control aspects of a car only take a very should period before they have the speed awareness and hazard perception skills sorted - others take an inordinately long time.


If someone is up to (or above) test standard after, say, three months tuition - why should they be penalised? And the other side of the coin is that those who are really struggling will still want to go for their test after the 'statutory' one years 'learning'...and then it's confrontation time with their Instructor.


The same applies to banning 'intensive' courses. I'm not a fan of these at all and are generally viewed as a 'quick fix' by many to obtain their licence in the shortest period of time. And in my experience the failure rate appears to be quite high....

But, to ban learning within a fixed short period is just the same as banning folk from taking their test for a year - an unnecessary restriction upon those who are competent enough to do it.


'Restricted licences?':


Restrict what? Banning young drivers from the road during night-time hours (unless going to work or college) would be unenforcable. What about drivers who get caught up in traffic or who have to, say, take someone to hospital? Do they just stop their car at the allotted hour, get out and start walking?




Given the amount of young folk injured as passengers, I can see where they are coming from on this. But, again, it would be a nightmare to enforce. Possibly an 'immediate family' clause may work - but I can see Plod having an nightmare untangling that particular web at the roadside.



The talk is of dropping the 'Learner' age down to sixteen and a half and then introducing curfew/passenger restrictions for the first six months after passing the test. I can see how they view this as a positive trade, but I honestly believe that doing this for six months is nothing more than a 'something must be done' exercise. Young drivers are not going to suddenly 'switch on' after a six month probation and become better drivers overnight.


Also, giving someone the 'green light' after six months of alcohol free driving? Talk about mixed messaging......






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We waited almost 3 weeks for your in-depth and fully researched answers to the high levels of young drivers having accidents and in some cases killing themselves or others. There is little there to save anything really, you have done little justice to the 19 or so young folk who have died as the result of motor vehicle accidents reported in Shetland over the last decade or so with this short answer.


Young drivers in Harrow had the benefit of an off road training centre, this could be used from the age of 16. There should be a proper formatted training schedule for drivers, who, after a week of driving, could take and pass a test and then get into a 3,500kg vehicle.

The training I had, when 16 involved simulators, in depth classroom sessions and practical lessons. I then, when 17, moved on to the highway, so after 50 odd hours of training, I felt very confident driving, all I needed to do now is deal with the rest of the population.

Any training involves that, classroom, simulation, on-job training and finally, after gaining the experience, the qualification.


Licenses are already restricted. Although, insurance companies are already offering limited cover to those who want it. There will be times of course when the driver may get close to the insurance curfew. There are mechanisms that can be put in place, if you drive after that time, a surcharge of about £25 is invoked. So, you are still insured. With a 40% discount on premiums, it could be quite an attractive stop gap until age and experience trigger points are reached to reduce costs.


Your argument about passengers. How do you think Taxi drivers are regulated. When a vehicle is licensed as a taxi, only licensed taxi drivers can drive it. When a vehicle is assessed for licensing, it is plated if successful giving certain details, including numbers of passengers. The way insurance details are used by the police, they can quickly ascertain the number of passengers allowed. Failure to display invokes a fine or prosecution. So, it is possible to have this system of passengers. The onus would be on the driver. They are the ones who are in charge of that vehicle and any passengers.


Personally, I think that the alcohol levels in the blood should be as low as possible, there is plenty of research available to show the detrimental effects of alcohol in the blood. Mixed messaging, that happens anyhow once a test is passed, before the test, unqualified, after, qualified and able to make judgements without a mentor.

Alas, we are talking about those who would make many excuses about limits of alcohol in the blood, medication for instance, basically, as the law is now, if you are taking such medication, then you will be subject to the same levels. Mind, many medicines will not contain enough to send the levels over the limit, though having one drink when taking them may.


Some quotes now..




An 18-year-old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as a 48 year-old.


One in five new drivers has a crash within six months of passing their test.


In the UK, young male drivers aged 17-20 are seven times more at risk than all male drivers - but between the hours of 2am and 5am their risk is 17 times higher.


In 2004, 5.7% of male 20-24 year-old drivers and 4.2% of male 17-19 year-old drivers involved in injury crashes failed breath-tests, compared to 3.1% of drivers of all ages.


Research shows that peer pressure can encourage bad driving and result in drivers ‘showing off’ to their passengers, as well as causing distraction.


DSA, The Schools Programme, (Driving Standards Agency, 2000)


DSA, Learning to Drive: a consultation paper (2008)


Table 2f, Road Casualties Great Britain 2004 (DfT, 2005)


Doherty, S.T.; Andrey, J.C.; and MacGregor, C. 1998. The situational risks of young drivers: the influence of passengers, time of day, and day of week on accident rates.


Novice driver accidents and the driving test, G Maycock, (TRL, 2001)


Night-time Accidents, H. Ward, (Centre for Transport Studies, University College London, 2005)


Some light reading for you :wink:

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Sorry, zoned out half way through.


I've been a DSA registered ADI for nearly 15 years, still licenced now. I was with BSM before sitting up my own very successful driving school in the Highlands which I ran for 12 years. In fact, if I was living closer to Lerwick I'd still be teaching now.


This was as well as running a small Taxi firm with 2 full time drivers and two vehicles at the same time under Highland Councils' area licences.......


So after getting past your sarcastic remark at the start regarding my pointing out the problems associated with the measures initially suggested, you put up a couple of interesting points.


Unfortunately, you then spoilt it by cut and pasting a load of quotes and attempting to quantify this by suggesting I do a little 'light reading' on the subject. Been there and read a damn sight more than what's on your list SP.


Discussion I'm all for, but I've got better things to do than get involved in some sort of online point scoring excercise with someone who, unfortunately, appears to believe they know what they are talking about.









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I don't think the argument about the need to learn how to drive with passengers is particularly valid - the most important thing for new drivers is understanding how to interact with other road users & predict their likely movements, and the reduction of distractions can only aid that. It's not only the "lad's peer pressure" that everyone thinks of.. consider a young parent with noisy kids who they turn to to tell them to be quiet. There is risk in everything we do, but giving new drivers the chance to learn the "second nature" of identifying the risks beyond their immediate frame of reference is surely a good thing?

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I quite honestly think young drivers are quite bad. And old.


I'm 20 and I crashed not long after my test, total right off. Why? Because I wasn't paying attention.


I know quite a few people who have written there cars off or crashed or what have you and to be honest it is quite scary.


I've been in cars where the young male driver is going extremely fast and it is pretty scary. (Not usually in females cars, I'm the only of my female friend who can drive... So can't put a judgement on that...)


But realisticly banning night time driving is just ridiculous. You'll never learn if you never do it.


The day I past my test I took two friends for a drive through the Tingwall Valley. They were both terrified because I had no idea about passing places, I was bobbing and weaving in and out of them. Eventually one of them had the guts to tell me I wasn't doing it properly. And taught me what to do. So if you put restrictions on the timing these people who pass will never learn the night time routine (or whatever you call it).


I also think that people should re-take their test a lot sooner as well. I'm all for driving at a decent speed etc. But really doing 40 mph in a 60? That annoys me. Or even the constant breaking at places that breaking is even necessary so your speed then drops to 35mph in a 60 zone.


And those who don't know who to use a roundabout (probably will start some sort of agreement). Sat at Grantfield for literally 5 minutes whilst everyone was looking at each other, was so tempted to over take the car in front of me and go!


And lastly indicators. Please use them, they are useful for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.


But I suppose those points would say that Scorrie's driving school he went to when he was 16 was a fantastic idea. Get the lads and lasses from the Motorsport Club to help out, I'm sure they'd all be happy to join in, especially since not all of them are of age. If the Government feel that young drivers are very vunderable on the road they should perhaps put a scheme out there for young ones.

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And those who don't know who to use a roundabout (probably will start some sort of agreement). Sat at Grantfield for literally 5 minutes whilst everyone was looking at each other, was so tempted to over take the car in front of me and go!


I have always tended to use the "might is right" logic in this situation and give way to the biggest vehicle.
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