National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

10 October 2013

Suggested measures to improve young driver safety could include night time driving curfews and a ban for novice drivers on carrying passengers under 30 years old.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a report it commissioned from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) that shows the urgent need to tackle young driver safety.

The report 'Novice drivers: Evidence Review and Evaluation’ suggests that implementing a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system, similar to those in other countries, could result in thousands fewer casualties and save up to £447 million per year.

According to the research, there could be almost 9000 fewer deaths and serious injuries on UK roads every year if changes were made to the way young people learn to drive.

The research recommends the GDL include the following:

  • A 12-month learner stage, beginning at age 17 ( requirement for at least 100 hours of daytime and 20 hours of night time supervised practice, with mandatory log book)
  • After passing driving tests, there would be a 12 month probationary licence from the age of 18 – during this period, drivers would need to display a green P plate.
  • During the 12 month probation, drivers will be subject to a night time driving curfew between 10pm and 5am, unless accompanied by a passenger aged over 30.
  • Novice drivers under 30 years old would also be banned from carrying passengers under 30 years old.

While the NFYFC supports the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licence, NFYFC Chairman Milly Wastie recently met with the Road Safety Minister and the Department for Transport to highlight how the restrictions would impact on rural young people. Milly was invited to talk about the issues after working on NFYFC’s Drive it Home campaign.

Members working in agriculture could be affected by the curfew – especially during peak seasons when working late nights and early mornings on farms is compulsory. For example, dairy farmers have to be at work from 4am or 5am all year round.

Milly Wastie, National Chairman of Council for NFYFC, said:

“While we support the introduction of measures such as a Graduated Driver Licence, we ask that in the preparation of the Green paper into young driver safety, consideration is given to young people living in isolated rural areas.

“Due to a lack of public transport, rural young people rely on a car to get to their place of education or work. For those with jobs in agriculture, especially during peak seasons such as harvest, they may often be required to work outside of the suggested curfew times of 10pm-5am. 

“With youth unemployment already at an all time low, we ask Government and local communities to ensure that our rural youth are not unfairly penalised by these new measures and that solutions are found for safe, night time transportation.”

The Government's research backs up the findings of research carried out by Road Safety Analysis earlier this year in support of the Drive it Home campaign.

To read a summary of the latest TRL research and recommendations click here.

What do you think about the proposed changes? Let us know your views – email


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