Sunday Brunch: James May reveals he didn't pass driving test
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The new proposals have been supported by over a thousand drivers as a way to boost safety on UK roads. Over two-thirds of 2,000 drivers said they supported the new proposals from IAMRoadSmart.
They claimed the minimum 12 month period should be introduced regardless of age or experience to ensure drivers who receive a practical licence are competent drivers.
Neil Greig said a longer training period would only help make the roads safer for all motorists.
He said: “The Government must listen to the concerns of the vast majority of motorists who clearly understand the long-term safety benefits that a 12-month minimum learning period for all new drivers would bring.
“A lifetime of safe driving starts by gaining the right experience behind the wheel.
“Even the Government’s own statistics show that one in five new drivers crash within their first year on the road, so a longer learning period can only help make our roads safer for all road users.”
There is currently no minimum number of hours drivers must practice their driving skills before they can take a practical test.
This has led to the adoption of many seven day driving schools which can see road users pass after just a week of road experience.
IAMRoadSmart said the Government had previously committed to investigating the option of a more in-depth Graduated Licensing System (GLS) in 2019.
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However, this plan was scrapped in October last year despite clear evidence showing the scheme would work.
Transport Minister Baroness Vere said the proposals would not be taken “at the moment” because of the possible impact on young people’s employment.
However, a longer learning period could be considered as this would not introduce the more strict measures offered in a GLS.
This would have seen newly qualified drivers given curfews on when they were allowed to use threads and limits on the number of passengers they could have at one time.
But many attack the Government’s surrender of the tough measures with MP Lillian Greenwood calling the decision ”disappointing”.
IAMRoadSmart’s survey found two-thirds of road users supported extra post-test training schemes.
A total of 71 percent of drivers aged 17 to 49 said it would be beneficial for road users to improve their skills through advanced training even after they obtain a licence.
Mr Greig has said longer learning times would allow drivers to experience different types of road and weather conditions.
This would ensure motorists would “remain safe” when they were finally let loose on the roads.
He added: “Lessons learnt at the start of your driving career can pay dividends.
“If new drivers had longer to experience all road types, in all weathers and at all times of the day and night before their test, the benefits can only increase.
“Experienced license holders need to update their observation, anticipation and planning skills too, to ensure they remain safe throughout their driving and riding careers.”
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