Drivers under the age of 25 could find themselves unable to drive at night, if the plans from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are to be imposed.
The ABI are proposing that all drivers under 25 have restrictions placed on when they can drive in a bid to reduce the number of accidents on the roads, which often lead to fatalities and serious injuries. They also believe that there should be a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach taken when dealing with young drivers caught for drink driving.
It is easy to understand why the ABI are pushing for such a radical change when you look at the statistics on road traffic accidents. Each day there are 16 people injured and 2 people killed in road accidents involving drivers under 25.
It tends to be the male young drivers that are seen as the highest risk category by insurance companies. According to statistics, male drivers under 25, are 5 times more likely to be involved in a road accident than male drivers between the ages of 30 and 59. Insurance premiums for young drivers are on average around £3,700 per year. Drivers who have just passed their tests can expect to pay £6,000 to insure their run-arounds!
The ABI are pushing for all learner drivers to go through a minimum period of a year of learning to drive before they are able to take their test. Following passing their test, the new drivers would then be given a driving licence for just 2 years. At the end of the 2-year period they must then pass a second driving test, to prove that they are safe to drive on the road. A further restriction would also be placed on how many passengers a young driver is permitted to carry.
The Director of General Insurance and Health at the ABI has commented that he would like to see young drivers off our roads between 11pm at night and 4am in the morning, “Our proposals are not designed to drive young drivers off the road, but to ensure that they become safer drivers. We must act to reduce the tragic loss of young lives on our roads”.
As expected not everyone is in support of the proposed changes, Simon Douglas from the AA doesn’t believe that the plans are practical, or able to be policed. He comments, “The plans would alienate young people who rely on their car to drive to or from late-shift work or who find themselves having to drive at night for other practical reasons. And does it tell drivers it’s OK to risk a drink and to drive after age 25?”.
But the ABI have received support from Which?, the Insurance Analyst, Paul Davies comments, “The situation has reached the stage now where many young drivers can’t afford the insurance premium rates being quoted by companies, with the price often running into thousands of pounds. Anything that seeks to bring down the cost of cover for younger drivers and ensures that they aren’t tempted to drive uninsured must be a good thing”.
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