Young drivers need more preparation, say UK motorists

Posted on May 29th, 2013 by GEM Motoring Assist

A revealing survey by GEM Motoring Assist, breakdown cover company and road safety charity, shows high levels of concern for the lack of learning requirements for new drivers.

GEM’s latest poll reveals that 89% of UK motorists believe that there should be a minimum learning period ahead of people taking the driving test, with the majority agreeing that at least six months should be required. Yet, currently the law doesn’t require a minimum learning period at all.

When it comes to motorway driving, motorists are worried about how unprepared new drivers may be. The GEM poll shows that a massive 85% want to see a change in law to include motorway driving during lessons before the practical assessment is taken, while 77% agree that motorway driving should be included in the test itself.

59% then want to see new drivers taking a further assessment after the test, in order to complete a probationary period.

The poll exposes further concern for speeding, with 63% agreeing that new drivers should only be permitted to drive cars with a speed limiter device fitted.

David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, comments: “The survey results clearly show that UK motorists aren’t happy with the Government’s approach to young and new drivers. From what we can see, more stringent requirements and stricter regulations would ensure that drivers benefit as much as possible from the learning process, in turn, helping to reassure other road users that all new drivers are fully equipped to be behind the wheel.”

Though, more than half in the poll agreed that the legal age for driving a car should remain at 17, and the same amount are happy with the current two year probationary period for new drivers, in which they return to learner status if they receive six or more penalty points for driving offences.

However, during this two year probationary period, 27% of respondents agreed that there should be a restriction for new drivers carrying passengers below the age of 25, while 25% agreed that the drink drive limit should be reduced during the probationary two years.

David continues: “There is no doubt from this survey that there is real concern for the learning process for new drivers, and this crucial period is something that we believe requires more attention and administration by law. With a Government Green Paper on the subject of ‘young drivers’ expected this summer, we sincerely hope that it will address the road safety issues that clearly alarm the UK motoring population.”