Thousands Of Under 20s Have Up To Six Points On Their Driving Licence

The Institute of Advanced Motorists believes current training methods are failing to produce safe drivers

18.12.2013

Chief executive at the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Simon Best has suggested the high number of young motorists committing offences in the UK speaks volumes.

The IAM highlighted DVLA figures that showed 30,850 males under the age of 20 have up to six penalty points on their licence. 9,758 females have amassed this number of points.

In addition to this, young drivers were said to be involved in one-fifth of all accidents that resulted in a death or serious injury in 2012. This is despite the fact this particular age group only accounts for one-eighth of overall licence holders.

There has been a lot of debate about the standard of young drivers in recent months and a report by the Transport Research Laboratory advised the government to overhaul the current test system.

It recommended that youngsters complete at least 100 hours of supervised daytime driving and 20 hours of night-time motoring before they are eligible for a probationary licence.

"Such high numbers committing a wide range of offences demonstrates the inability of our current system to deal with the attitudes and lack of experience which put new drivers at such high risk on the roads today," Mr Best commented.

He added the government is currently working on a Green Paper, which needs to "better address the content and process of learning to drive so that our roads are safer for all road users".

The IAM has also urged motorists not to drink and drive this Christmas.

There is usually a spike in drink-driving convictions at this time of year and the government is keen to reverse this trend.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger stated that people should book a taxi or use public transport if they intend on consuming alcohol. He also warned motorists they can still be over the legal drink-drive limit the morning after a party.

Expert Opinion
Any new training methods for inexperienced drivers that will improve road safety throughout the UK are extremely welcome. The statistics and figures provided suggest that current driver training may need to be reassessed to improve standards for new drivers.

“The driving standards of young motorists have been highlighted numerous times over the past few years especially given that one-fifth of all accidents that result in a death or serious injury involve young drivers.

“The spike in drink-driving convictions at this time of year is a unfortunate regular appearance on our calendars over the festive party season; people need to be aware of the devastating consequences that drink-driving can have on victims of accidents. Some of the clients that I have worked with have suffered serious, life-changing injuries as a result of drink driving.

“The message is simple, if you plan on drinking, make alternative transport arrangements for that night and/or the morning after.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner