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P Is For Probationary

P Is For Probationary

The trouble with young people is that they will insist on going out and enjoying themselves by having fun and so on. Sometimes though they enjoy themselves a bit too much and the results can occasionally be tragic. An 18 year old driver is three times more likely to have an accident than, say, his parent.

The under twenty five age group are, according to statistics, responsible for one third of all motor accidents despite comprising only one eighth of the driving population. As an understandable consequence, young drivers are penalised by hugely expensive insurance premiums.

For this reason the Department for Transport is reviewing a number of measures to try and cut down the amount of youth related accidents and deaths. In a rather sweeping statement a government spokesman stated that young drivers were prone to “immaturity and reckless driving” and were “easily distracted by others”. That’s tarred them all with the same brush, then, although it is true to a certain extent.

Measures being considered include a ban on novice drivers carrying ‘young passengers’ and the need to display probationary plates on their cars. These are sometimes used on a voluntary basis by new drivers, probably at their parent’s behest, and seem like a good idea. After all, learners have to use L plates prior to passing their test and – since most people would agree that newbies only really learn to drive after the official examination when they are out on their own – a P plate would seem a natural progression.

The government believes that introducing youth calming measures would in the long run bring down the accident rate and the punitive insurance premiums that young drivers have to presently endure. The insurance companies would, one suspects, want to see a long and consistent reduction in claims for this to actually happen.

They have a similar system in Northern Ireland where novices have to display an R (for restricted) plate for the first twelve months after their test pass. They are also required to keep speeds below forty five miles per hour. Overall, it makes sense. Young drivers might not like it but if ultimately it saves their money and their life then it’s probably a sensible move.

Maybe it could be extended to other various classes of motorists. There could be, for example, be an I for ‘irritable’ driver plate or a W for ‘woman driver’ plate. Hey; just throwing out suggestions here – don’t shoot the messenger.

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==