Newly qualified drivers are facing extensive restrictions on when they can drive including being banned from driving at night according to new proposals being considered by the government.
Drivers younger than 24 are responsible for one in five road deaths or serious injuries on UK roads and the government now believes that is because of the high proportion of inexperience drivers who have just passed their tests.
In response it is now considering proposals from safety groups to introduce a probationary period for new drivers.
The probation period would do away with the usual points system currently employed for drivers who do something wrong and would instead lead to bans and reassessments for any violation of the driving laws.
The period would last for a year and it is hoped it would lower young driver insurance premiums and help to reduce the number of fatal or serious accidents on the roads.
Some groups want the rules to be extended to include a ban on driving at night after figures revealed a large proportion of accidents involving young drivers occur during the hours of 2am and 5am.
There is also the possibility of limiting the number of people a young driver can carry in the car to reduce distractions and therefore risks on the road.
However some groups including MoneySupermarket have argued the proposals will not be effective because they only focus on age and not experience.
For example, a driver may choose not to drive for 12 months after passing their test. As a result they would not be subject to the restrictions applied to drivers getting behind the wheel within the 12 month period.
An alternative to the proposals could be the introduction of advanced driving courses for new drivers or even black box insurance solutions.
Black box insurance is a telematics package that monitors a young driver’s acceleration, braking and other attributes.
The information is then sent back to the insurance company and can be used to judge how safe a driver is on the road. Once this is taken into account it can significantly reduce car insurance for young drivers.
Statistics show black box insurance is increasingly popular in the UK and can even reduce the chances of an accident because people who use the technology are more careful drivers.
The number of black box insurance policies in the UK is expected to rise to 500,000 in the next two years after a five-fold increase in the previous two.
According to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) one in four cars on UK roads are expected to have black box insurance by 2020 as the policies become the norm on UK roads.