Fleet News

Call for statutory extra test for new drivers

The Motor Schools Association (MSA) has urged Government to introduce a compulsory scheme of post-driving test training in a bid to reduce the number of novice drivers involved in road crashes.

John Lepine general manager of the MSA, which represents driving instructors throughout Great Britain, said that the growing number of new drivers killed or seriously injured in traffic collisions required urgent action.

"At present new drivers make up a disproportionate number of casualties on our roads," he said. "Around a quarter of all deaths come from this group but they represent only 10% of drivers.To reduce this appalling statistic we believe it is time the Government extended the learning to drive process beyond the current L-test.

"A post-test training scheme called Pass Plus was introduced in 1995 but despite giving new drivers additional expert guidance from Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) and the chance to broaden their training by taking driving lessons on motorways and lessons covering night and bad weather driving, take-up has never been very high."

Lepine said that after reaching a peak uptake of 20% among new drivers, the level had since fallen to 6%.

"The Government must now either make this scheme compulsory or introduce some other statutory scheme to address this issue. Another solution may be to allow learners on to motorways and to introduce a required syllabus for all new drivers, ensuring that all the elements of Pass Plus are covered before the driving test."

His comments come as the Government prepares to unveil a Green Paper on young drivers in the autumn. Among the options being considered by the Secretary of State for Transport are an extension of the current Pass Plus scheme, allowing learners on motorways if supervised by an ADI, and measures to place restrictions on new drivers after they pass their L-test.

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