MP wants Scotland to trial graduated driving licence
29th July 2019
An MP in the north-east of Scotland wants to see the country trial a graduated driving licence that would see restrictions placed on new drivers.
Moray MP Douglas Ross told the Press and Journal he is keen to see road safety rates improve and believes this would be a key way of achieving this goal.
Limits placed on new drivers
A graduated driving licence could see restrictions placed on the amount of passengers a person can carry for a certain period after they have passed their test, or on the times of day they can get behind the wheel.
Other limitations may include lower alcohol thresholds, smaller engine sizes and slower speed limits for up to six months.
According to statistics published by the government, up to a quarter of newly-qualified drivers are involved in some kind of accident within two years of passing their driving test. Around 400 of these will suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Mr Ross said he is concerned to see the Highlands and Grampian part of Scotland has among the worst accident rates in the UK, with ten per cent of road collisions there involving a 17 to 19-year-old driver.
“We could reduce casualties, including those killed or seriously injured, if a form of graduated licence was introduced,” he insisted.
The UK government has already been exploring the idea of a graduated driving licence with the aim of reducing road casualties, having instructed the Department for Transport to look into the possibility last year.
Currently, the only special treatment for new drivers is harsher penalties for a certain number of points on their licence and it is not a legal requirement to display ‘P’ plates.
Ellie Baker, brand manager at FCS Scotland, adds: “Clipping the wings of new drivers is unlikely to be a popular government policy, but current accident rates cannot continue unabated. We would back any idea that could succeed in lowering casualty rates.”back