No driving licence until you are 21

  superhoops 16:30 25 Aug 2007

I am sales rep and do a fair amount of driving. I see a fair few accidents and although I wouldnt say I drive slow I do generally obide by the speed limits. Every day at least 3 or 4 times I have another car inches from my back bumper.If I had to brake hard they wouldnt stand a chance.
Yesterday I was held up in the aftermath of 3 different accidents, one was a lorry that had tipped over on the M4 (ok probably not driven by a youngster) but the other 2 were (what was left) souped up older cars.
Today one of my favourite players Ray Jones of QPR was killed in a car accident in which he collided with a double decker bus. He was 18 years of age and had a great career in front of him (He played 35 games for Rangers last season). Ok we dont know the full circumstances of this accident but I just feel that we give out driving licences too young, nearly every time I am tailgated it is a youngster who has probably just passed his test and cant cope with the excitement of having his own car. What does anyone else think?

  45 Mart 17:03 25 Aug 2007

It's sad that someone so young has lost his life. It's sad that youngsters do lose their lives, but you only hear about the ones that this happens to on the news. There are thousands of journeys made every day by young drivers, never heard about on the news because nothing goes wrong. The accidents are few, although I agree, regrettable, but why penalise every young person by taking away their ability to learn to drive.

  hereford456 17:04 25 Aug 2007

If as a new driver from i think 1998 you gain more than 6 points on your licence in the first 2 years you loose your licence. And need to retake it with an extended driving test. A good idea.

Sadly at the moment we do not know why this young man was killed.

  Kate B 17:06 25 Aug 2007

Good post, 45 Mart. Sad indeed that anyone loses their life in a car accident, not just a footballer.

Oh, and for the record, there are issues of liability with car accidents and to be safe and not get PCA involved in any potential libel actions, you should really say that his car was in collision with a double-decker, which is a form of words that implies no blame on anyone's part.

  octal 17:15 25 Aug 2007

maybe it's time there was a motorway element to the driving lesson, it's pure folly to be let lose on a high speed road just after the test without any form of practical instruction, I know they are supposed to be our safest roads, but when things go wrong they go wrong very quickly indeed and without the necessary skills to manage potential hazards a new driver can be a hazard to themselves and everyone else.

  techie4me 17:54 25 Aug 2007

The Military run a young drivers scheme where 17 year olds+ can undertake driving for LGV C, C1E & C+E. Included is defensive driving.

Sadly this is not passed on to the average young driver. Some areas offer Pass+ click here where youngsters undertake further driving training & if they pass can get discounted insurance.

May be this should be mandatory?

  spuds 17:55 25 Aug 2007

The point to remember is that some drivers (of any age) do not have a licence at all, in fact the vehicle that they are using may possibly not be insured or have an mot. It may have even been stolen, with the driver high on drink and drugs. If that is the case, then changing the law will not in most cases stop these people.

In my day and age, if your saw a blue light flashing behind you, you stopped and fear came into being. Nowadays, if you see a blue flashing light, you normally give way, because that vehicle is en-route to an emergency. If the police vehicle is actually requesting you to stop, then given the above no licence person views, then this normally leads to a chase or a 'so what' attitude and conversation at the roadside.

Regarding tailgating, some lorry drivers are well capable of doing this. "We are bigger than you, so move" springs to mind.

Southern Ireland have had 'P' plates for years, I have never understood why the UK didn't follow. At least a 'P' helps to identify a new driver.

  Wilham 17:57 25 Aug 2007

Young drivers can be very safe, but I agree something must be done to put across the message that able handling skills must be accompanied by defensive driving attitudes.

Instead of raising the licence age I would impose a statutory insurance excess of £1000 on drivers under 21, and £500 up to 24, to off-set the false confidence afforded by comprehensive policies and crash-protection qualities described for occupants of modern cars.

Loss of any no-claims to come on top of this, of course.

  Clapton is God 18:13 25 Aug 2007

This topic has been aired in the past in these Forums.

Irrespective of what age you pass your driving test, as far as I'm concerned, assuming you then drive regularly, safely, competently and within the law, you might start to become a good driver about 5 years later.

Taking and passing this test, as I did in 1983, will also help improve your skill-set click here

  Pesala 18:26 25 Aug 2007

After passing the test, drivers should carry P license plates instead of L plates until they have at least two years' experience. Then they should take another driving test that includes motorway driving. Provisional drivers should be limited to 50 mph. click here

  DrScott 19:27 25 Aug 2007

last night. I was driving home on the M1 when I saw flashing blue lights behind me. I pulled into the middle lane aborting over taking another car, as did most of the traffic. However, the flashing lights and rather tinny sounding siren belonged to a Suburu, with the lights looking like they were car mods - no lights on top of the car.

Now it might just be possible that the police have got themeselves a souped up Suburu or some such vehicle. But I have nagging suspicion that this was a car driven by two youths at 100mph, forcing traffic out of the way, and certainly not en route to a crime scene or accident.

I'm actually quite in favour of raising the age to 21, though it would mean a lot of people outside of cities would find working very difficult.

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