Restrictions on new drivers & penalty points for not wearing a seatbelt

New drivers could be banned from driving at night as part of new measures to improve road safety.

The UK Government’s road safety action plan proposes a system of graduated driver licensing, which places restrictions on new drivers such as not driving with passengers under a certain age in the car and not driving at night.

Graduated licensing schemes already operate in New Zealand; New South Wales and Victoria in Australia; New York and California in the United States; Ontario and British Columbia in Canada; and Sweden.

In the UK, the idea has been rejected in the past because of concerns that it would limit young people’s education or job prospects.

However, the Department for Transport said that further research would help build an evidence base to fully understand how graduated licensing might work.

Currently, new drivers have their licences revoked if they accumulate six points within the first two years — equivalent to the penalty for using a handheld mobile phone while driving or two speeding offences.

The move comes as figures suggest one in five new drivers crashes during their first year on the road.

Stricter penalties for failing to wear a seatbelt are also among the 74 measures put forward in the road safety action plan.

Under the proposal, drivers who fail to buckle up could face penalty points as well as fines.

The current penalty in England, Scotland and Wales is a £100 fine, while in Northern Ireland drivers who don’t wear a seatbelt can get a £500 fine and three penalty points.

More than a quarter (27%) of the car occupants who died in crashes on UK roads in 2017 were not wearing a seatbelt.

The Government also said it will set up a Rural Road Users Advisory Panel to explore how to improve road safety in rural areas, for example by improving roads and traffic signs, and looking at issues around speed limits and enforcement.

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