doc

A PROPOSED graduate driving licence which would bar young motorists from carrying passengers or driving at night would be a “big help”, according to the Bolton branch of a road safety charity.

Gary Whittle, from the Bolton Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), said the move could save the lives of young drivers and their passengers, as well as cut the cost of their insurance premiums.

Currently, anyone can obtain a provisional driving licence and start learning when they are 17, and there are no restrictions in place relating to experience once someone has passed.

Mr Whittle said: “We have supported this for some years and think it would be a very good idea.

“There are too many young men getting their licence and then going out on country roads, killing themselves and their passengers.

“Their car insurance would also be a lot cheaper and it is almost prohibitively expensive for young people to get insurance these days.

“Obviously it would be best if everyone who had just passed their test had these restrictions imposed on them, but it is younger people who are predominantly driving recklessly.”

In June last year a bill was put before parliament calling for new licences to last just 12 months, with drivers expected to take advanced tests during that period, as well as carrying only one passenger and having their licence automatically revoked if they amass six penalty points.

The RAC Foundation has also recommended such proposals are adopted, including making drivers learn for 12 months before they take their test and placing them on a two-year probationary period once they have passed.