Fleet News

Fleets urged to take up proactive training as plans to drop driving age are revealed

GOVERNMENT proposals to reduce the minimum age that drivers can take to the road from 17 to 16-years-old should prompt a shift to proactive training programmes from fleets.

A Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions consultation paper, called 'Introducing a More Structured Approach to Learning to Drive', suggests that 16-year-olds could be driving while supervised by a driver aged 24 and with more than five years' experience.

They would also need a year's tuition before passing their test and have to display P-plates for two years.

The Government is calling for views on the proposals and whether young drivers should undergo compulsory skid training and off-road training and whether they should be restricted to low-powered cars, a ban on night time driving and passenger restrictions.

If the measures were adopted, it would slash road accident rates, the Government claims, as during 2000 12% of drivers involved in injury accidents were aged 17-21, despite that age group accounting for only 7% of licence holders.

Graham Griffiths, chief executive of driver training firm Drive Tech, said: 'We believe that the Government is acting responsibly by putting forward this consultation document and within it a framework to improve road safety.

'Fleets should embrace the safety ethos and ensure adequate and proactive driver training programmes are in place for young people in their workforces.

'Youngsters could receive bonuses for having a safe driving record during their early years with the company and that will help them in their long-term careers.'

  • For full details of the consultation document and to comment, log on to www.roads.dtlr.gov.uk/consult/learntodrive/index.htm.
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