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ABI Gets Tough On Young Driver Accidents – Association Proposes Restricting Driving Hours

The Association of British Insurers has unveiled proposals to cut young drivers’ accidents and insurance costs.

Young novice drivers should not be allowed to drink any alcohol while driving and be restricted in the hours when they can drive, the ABI proposes.

“Our proposals are not designed to drive young drivers off the road, but to ensure that they become safer drivers,” said ABI director of general insurance and health Nick Starling in a statement.

For learner drivers under 25, the ABI has called for a minimum one-year learning period before taking the driving test and a ban on taking inttensive driving courses where they are the only means of learning to drive (see below for full list of proposals).

The ABI recommends newly-qualified drivers under 25 should hold a ‘graduated’ driving licence for two years, at the end of which they would be tested again. Under the graduated licence there would be restrictions on passenger numbers and on driving between 11pm and 4am.

According to the ABI, one in four people killed or seriously injured in a road crash is a young driver or one of their passengers, yet drivers under age 25 account for only 12% of all driving license holders.

ABI young driver proposals

The ABI wants to see for learner drivers aged under 25:
• A minimum one-year learning period before taking the driving test. A minimum learning period applies in many other countries.

• A ban on taking intensive driving courses where this is the sole means of learning to pass the driving test. This would enable learner drivers to gain experience in a wider variety of road conditions.

For newly-qualified drivers aged under 25:

• All new drivers should hold a graduated driving licence for two years, at the end of which they should be required to pass a second test to ensure that they are safe to drive on all types of roads.

• The graduated driving licence would contain restrictions on the number of passengers that could be carried. This reflects the significantly increased accident risk when other passengers are in the car. It would also include restrictions on driving between 11pm – 4am, albeit with certain exemptions, such as where driving is necessary due to work.

Responding to the announcement, Allianz Retail Head of Home and Motor Portfolio Management Gareth McChesney said: “In 2011, for the first time in many years, we have seen a rise in the number of road deaths in the UK.

“We believe that the measures proposed by the ABI could go a long way in tackling this worrying issue and we fully support this initiative.

“These proactive steps to lower the risk that some drivers can pose on the road and achieve lower premiums for younger drivers could result in huge benefits for both motorists and the insurance industry.”

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