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Northern Ireland have this month announced a package of new rules which will be introduced in 2018 to improve safety for learner drivers. The announced rules are:

  • Minimum 6 month training period before learner can sit their test
  • Night time restrictions for new drivers carrying passengers
  • Section of motorway driving during practical test
  • Tougher drink drive limits (50mg/100ml for all drivers and 20mg/100ml for novice and professional drivers – currently it is 80mg/100ml in the UK)

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has said: “The fact is that young and inexperienced drivers are significantly over-represented in road traffic collisions.

“A person will need to be at least seventeen and a half years old before getting a full licence. They will also have to demonstrate that they have undertaken driving on a range of road types, coping with different speed limits and at different times of the day.

“The objective is to prepare new drivers to become a safe driver for life – rather than simply pass their test.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety for RoSPA, added: “We commend the government in Northern Ireland for taking this important step in trying to save lives on the road, and we would like to see similar measures introduced across the UK. There is scope to reduce, significantly, the number of casualties caused by new and inexperienced drivers.”

Have your say in the comments below!


  1. Minimum age 18 with 100 hours driving, at least 20 with a professional instructor. Zero alcohol. Post test restrictions including using P plates till the age of 21 or if older use P plates for 6 months after passing. I agree with motorway driving before passing the test where motorway is available and hence been part of the test.
    All of the above should also be in England, Scotland and Wales.

  2. I agree with night time restriction but M’way driving as part of test would be impractical. Instead I think all new drivers must have a minimum of 2-3hrs of professional tuition on M’ways, post test, before they can go on M’ways on their own. Alcohol limit for new drivers should be reduced to zero and engine size/HP of cars should be restricted. ‘6 months training’ could be manipulated. Minimum training hours from a professional would be a better. Black Box technology should be insisted upon by Insurance Coys.

  3. After having my full car license, PVC and 7.5ton categories for many years now with over 19 years no claims I have decided to do my bike license.

    The rules are getting stupid for experienced drivers, I agree with the CBT and others that have been introduced for very young drivers/riders as they do not have enough road sense or experience, even though I am training for my Bike license I have over 20 years experience on riding bikes on the road in many countries and personally with my experience I think that the rules are getting stupid its just a money making scheme as it stands.

    Yes there are more cars on the road and yes the standard of driving is quite bad in the country as a whole so why don’t they offer free theory tests etc to educate new and existing drivers? (note I put existing drivers there).

    The only problems I have had over the past year where BMW cars trying to get into gaps that I have the right of way (my side of the road was clear and I was already lined up for and going through).

    They need to make it an scheme to educate not to profit from.

  4. The black box should be made law for a person who passed there test people go on about young people who die in a car crash yet still not enough being done pulling up on the right or following a sat nav on the new test dosent and will not stop this happening the government should employe dsa to monitor there driving also should be law that when a driver starts the engine a photo and time is recorded which should be fitted in al cars being made main course for young people dieing is showing off and going to fast none of these have ever been stopped none of us want to see a loss of life and a test should be taken again by all people driving every 10 yeas to keep standers high because what we are seeing on the roads is getting worse p.s sorry for any spelling mistakes


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