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Should we punish young learner drivers?


Not content with making driving tests even harder, calls have now been made to introduce tougher rules for new drivers in the UK.

A survey has shown that the majority of drivers in the UK think that learners should undertake a certain amount of hours driving experience before they are even allowed to take their test. As a learner myself, I wholeheartedly agree with this rule. But I also believe that driving ability differs from person to person. Look at Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Im really not that good so there is no danger that I wouldnt hit the required number of hours before Im ready to take my test. Ive already had 20 hours and Im nowhere near ready.

Further results from the survey show that 8 out of 10 UK drivers think that new drivers should face a complete alcohol ban and a night time driving curfew. Furthermore, the number of passengers a new driver can carry should be limited and no new drivers should be allowed on motorways. But this is the annoying thing these rules only apply to new drivers under the age of 20.

Ive already admitted that Im no natural when it comes to driving but Id like to think that by the time Ive passed Id be able to make use of all the hours and money Ive put into this. Im 23, so these rules would not affect m

e. But I honestly cannot see what makes me a better driver at 23 than I would have been at 18.

I think that once I do pass my test I will be unlikely to drink whilst driving, but this should be a personal choice. If a new driver fancies a drink whilst out, and sticks to the legal recommendation then they shouldnt be penalised. The night time curfew is quite frankly ridiculous a lot of teens doing shift work in bars, restaurants and shops would have to find alternative transport home.

A spokesperson from Brake, the company behind this survey, says that young drivers are over-confident in their abilities and compete with each other on the road. This is a gross over-generalisation if ever I heard one! This refers to one type of driver, not necessarily young the boy racer. I have friends who drive like this, and Im sure they are worse now then when they first passed their tests!

New drivers need the opportunity to get on the roads and practice. Limiting their options will ultimately prevent them from gaining confidence on the roads and making the most of their license. How long is a new driver considered a new driver? Surely, with these rules in place then a new driver stays new for longer!

These new rules, should they come into place, are not targeting new drivers but YOUNG drivers. Driving ability has nothing to do with age. These rules should apply to all new drivers or none at all. Alternatively, the age at which you can start learning to drive should be raised if the Government believes that young drivers cannot be trusted with the same responsibilities and benefits as older drivers. It isnt fair that a 17 year old driver will ultimately put in as much effort and hard earned cash into learning as a 23 year old like me, but would not be able to drive freely once theyve passed their test.

Young drivers should not all be tarred with the same brush. There are dangerous drivers in every age group and these rules will do little to change this fact. Making driving tests harder will really do more to guarantee that new drivers deserve to be on the roads these new rules are unnecessary and unfair.