Login Register

Too young to drive?

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 09, 2012

Comments (0)

YOUNG learner drivers could be allowed behind the wheel when they turn 16 under new proposals from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Dropping the legal age from 17 for provisional drivers is one measure suggested to make roads safer and reduce accidents. A minimum 12-month learning period on L-plates is also suggested to enable young drivers gain more supervised practice.

An ABI report states young drivers consistently over-estimate their abilities and underestimate the risks so should be restricted in what they can do until gaining sufficient experience – reducing the risk of 'thrill-seeking' and 'showing off'. Liam Mint, 15, from Matson, goes to Churchdown Academy. He said: "It would be great if I could start driving as soon as possible. All my family drive and I have to rely on them for lifts."

Shannon Udall, 16, from Avening, goes to Cirencester College. "I have already started driving on private roads and I think it's a great idea to bring the driving age down to 16," she said.

Jade Crosthwaite, 16, from Avening, goes to Stroud College. She says bringing down the legal driving age would help young people living in rural areas. "It's still very expensive to drive, I'm not sure if many people my age could afford their own cars and the expense that goes with it," she said.

Aman Sood, 31, from Gloucester, said: "I think this is a terrible idea. More supervised practice sounds like a good move, but the reality would be more young people on the roads and the statistics say young people already make up most of the accidents."

Gavin Chamberlain, 32, from Newent, thinks giving some 16-year-olds responsibility would make them more confident on the roads.

"Allowing them onto the roads at that age could make them grow up and become more responsible so that could be a good thing."

Salina Faye, 33, from Tuffley, said 16-year-olds are too young to drive on the roads, even under supervision. "Some young people that age act like children and can't be trust behind the wheel, even under supervision it would be a danger to other drivers if they were allowed to drive," she said.

Read more from Gloucester Citizen

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters
  • 2ladybugs  |  October 09 2012, 11:53AM

    As long as lowering the age to 16 doesn't mean more accidents and then everbody else's premiums going up to pay for this . I see this idea is being suggested by the ABI which of course would drum up more custom for them I suppose.

    |   2
  • Takeaway22  |  October 09 2012, 10:42AM

    1/ How often do you hear about drivers under the age of 20 going down the wrong way of a carriage way or even motorway? - I can't recall one. Same question to the over 60's. 2/ We all know about the high cost of insurance premiums to 17 year olds. The premium drops quite dramatically when they are 18 albeit still high. If you do the same maths for insurance premiums for 16 year olds where premiums will be a lot higher than a 17 year old, there is only going to be one group that will be able to afford to put a 16 year old on the road. Yup, you got it, the ones with rich mummies and daddies. So, can this be seen as discrimination? 3/ What are the stats like in the USA for 16 year old drivers? Over there, that age group can even drive big powerful cars too.

    |   2
  • geraint2010  |  October 09 2012, 10:02AM

    The UK is already out of sync with most of Europe where the minimum age for a full driving licence is 18. A longer period of instruction would be useful, but this could be achieved by keeping the minimum age for a UK provisional license 17 but issuing full licences to qualified drivers only when they have turned 18.

    |   3
  • Matt1006  |  October 09 2012, 9:27AM

    NibNobs - it's called "fronting" when the insurance on Junior's car is in Mum or Dad's name (with Junior as a named driver) although the parents never drive the car. And it's illegal. So yes the insurance companies need to crack down on it, but so do the police / DVLA. Some increased fines, and perhaps points on the licences of all involved too (if this doesn't already happen) might get the message across. Really don't see that allowing 16-year-olds to start learning on the roads is going to help. Yes to a minimum 12-month learner period, but also to include a minimum number of hours with a qualified instructor. They'll be moaning about how much more it's going to cost, but being able to drive is a privilege not a right, and you have to pay for that privilege. When you consider the cost of buying that 1st car and insuring it, the costs of learning to drive are minor.

    |   3
  • NibNobs  |  October 09 2012, 8:19AM

    "I would have thought all the insurance companies need to do is stop the way young drivers get their own car insured by putting themselves as a 'named driver' on mummy's or daddy's insurance when the parents never actually drive the car insured. The cost of insuring a 17 year old on their first car, even a typical 1.0 litre Clio, Corsa or Saxo being £5,000+ and to rise after the first claim - would soon reduce accidents."

    |   2
  • SandraPee  |  October 09 2012, 8:10AM

    I know it's early in the day, but I've read this three times to check I've not read it incorrectly ! Dropping the legal age for a provisional driving licence from 17 to 16 would make roads safer and reduce accidents ???? Blearily checks calendar to see it's not April 1st !

    |   2