Graduated drivers licences would lower road deaths

A system of graduated drivers licences would reduce road deaths according to a report by the RAC Foundation.

The report proposes a 4 year learning period for new drivers, and various restrictions would apply. It suggests that hundreds of fatal road accidents could be avoided each year if the system was introduced in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Graduated licences are already in place in various countries, including the United States and Australia, and the RAC Foundation says the number of fatal road crashes have fallen as a result. Prof Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, says that "evidence suggests that a full package of measures could reduce fatalities by anything up to 60%".

The three phase system recommended by the report is set out as follows:

Phase 1 - One year minimum learning period, including winter and night driving, before being eligible to take the test.

Phase 2 - Restrictions applied after passing the test for a year, including limitations on night driving and the number of passengers that can be in the car.

Phase 3 - Two year probationary period, with driver at risk of having to re-take the test if they receive 6 penalty points.

The report also calls for a lowering of the legal drink-drive limit.

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