Scotland Presses Ahead to Introduce Graduated Driver Licensing

Scotland Presses Ahead to Introduce Graduated Driver Licensing

The UK Government has stalled in publishing a Green Paper recommending measures to improve young driver safety, but The Highland Council in Scotland is pressing ahead by announcing proposals to pilot a graduated driver license (GDL) scheme of its own.

4 Young Drivers has written in the past about the long-awaited recommendations, which now appear to have been shelved indefinitely by politicians amidst fears that restricting young drivers would be unpopular and unworkable.

Fatalities in Highlands Council area three times greater than other Scottish areas

The Highland Council area has a high number of road collisions compared with the rest of Scotland. The rate of fatalities is the highest in Scotland and three times higher than that of Scotland as a whole. Most fatalities in The Highland Council region are among young men, often involving motorbikes.

Councillor Drew Millar from The Highland Council Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee, said,

“We very much support the recommendation of the Scottish Parliament that the UK Government be asked to develop proposals to undertake a pilot Graduated Driver Licensing Scheme in Scotland, and would be happy for the Highlands and Islands to be considered as a suitable area to undertake such a pilot."

The suggestion has cross-party support in Scotland. Wick Councillor Gail Ross said,

“This initiative has become one of the most important pieces of potential legislation in Scotland for some time…everyone realises the importance of the issue.”

Suggestions for young driver training reforms

Research supporting the introduction of a GDL scheme was originally carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory. Its recommendations to the UK Government included such measures as restrictions on night-time driving, a limit to the number of passengers carried and an extended period of logged supervision after passing the driving test.

Whilst improving road safety and reducing casualties and collisions is very much a priority for everyone, a successful outcome might also have a positive impact on the cost of insurance for young drivers and lower the number of uninsured drivers on Britain’s roads.

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Released On 9th Apr 2014

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