Penalty Points Data Highlights the Need for Young Driver Training Reforms

Group of young adults

The Institute of Advance Motorists (IAM) has used recent penalty points data issued by the government to press for changes in the way young drivers are trained.

This information shows that over 40,000 drivers aged 20 or under have up to six penalty points on their driving licence. Young male drivers make up the majority of the figures: 30,850 compared with 9,758 young females.

In all age groups up to the age of 20, young men are consistently earning more penalty points than women, as the table below shows:

  3 points 4 points 5 points 6 points
Male 17 837 8 7 358
Female 17 36 0 0 0
Male 18 3,280 78 130 986
Female 18 705 15 25 70
Male 19 7,717 176 296 1,904
Female 19 2,542 47 73 230
Male 20 12,236 166 558 3,113
Female 20 5,229 82 117 587


17 to 20 year-olds account for 20% of accidents

Institute of Advanced Motorists logoThe IAM, which is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has noted from an analysis of the data that young drivers in the age group 17 to 20 were involved in 20% of all road collisions in 2012, where someone was killed or seriously injured. That figure seems undramatic by itself, but this age group of young drivers account for just 8% of all full driving licence holders in Britain and drive approximately half the distance of older drivers each year.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said:

“Such high numbers committing a wide range of offences demonstrates the inability of our current system to deal with the attitudes and lack of experience which put new drivers at such high risk on the roads today.”

4 Young Drivers has been tracking progress of a government Green Paper containing proposals to reform driver training and introduce some form of graduated driving licence system.

Rumours of more Green Paper delays

After many delays and setbacks, an official announcement of the proposals was finally expected in the New Year. However, rumours are now circulating that the Green Paper will be delayed again and that measures to introduce night time curfews and other restrictions will be scrapped amidst fears that they will prevent young people working unsociable hours getting to work by car.

The government is also said to be nervous about introducing unpopular schemes in the run-up to the next election in May 2015.

4 Young Drivers is hopeful that an acceptable system can be put forward which will address the flaws in the current method of learning to drive, so that Britain’s roads become safer for all road users.


Tags: Driving Test, Driving Test Reforms, Graduated Driving Licences

Released On 18th Dec 2013

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