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.”
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