The House of Commons Transport Committee is to conduct an inquiry into novice drivers, with oral evidence sessions being held in early 2007.
The chance of a driver being involved in a collision is particularly high during the first year after passing the driving test. The Government estimates that nearly 38,800 people are killed or injured each year in collisions involving at least one driver with less than two years' post-test experience. The inquiry will consider:
The nature of the problem
To what extent novice drivers are more at risk of being involved in a collision than other drivers, and whether this is primarily a consequence of age, inexperience or a combination of both.
Do young people's attitudes to driving have a significant impact on the collision rates of young and novice drivers?
Driver education and testing
How effective are the existing practical and theory driving tests at identifying safe driving skills and behaviour? Has the hazard perception test achieved its objectives?
Could changes to driver education and testing help to make novice drivers safer? Such changes might include:
new pre-test requirements, such as a minimum number of hours' or miles' driving, or a minimum period between obtaining a provisional license and taking the test;
compulsory professional tuition; or
additional training for motorway driving or night driving
Graduated licensing schemes involve the phasing-in of driving privileges. Typically, a gradated licensing scheme imposes additional restrictions on new drivers either for a fixed period of time after passing their test or until a second test is passed. Restrictions in a graduated licensing programme might include:
a lower speed limit;
a lower blood-alcohol limit;
restrictions on the number of passengers who may be carried; and
restrictions on night driving.
Changes to the driving age
Would there be any benefit in changing the minimum age at which a provisional or full license may be obtained?
Different treatment of offenders
Drivers face disqualification and re-testing if they acquire six penalty points during the first two years after taking their test. Could further, similar provisions for the different treatment of novice drivers who offend be introduced?
Interested parties are invited to submit written memoranda to the Committee by
Monday 18 December 2006.
Guidance on submitting written evidence:
It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:
1. Submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is usually helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A single-page summary of the main points is sometimes helpful. The submission should be in a form suitable for monochrome photocopying.
2. Evidence should be submitted in Word or Rich Text format, by e-mail to the above address. The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from.
3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee's property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. You should not publish evidence submitted to the Committee. If you wish your submission, or any part of it, to be treated as confidential, then please indicate this clearly when you submit it.
4. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material, formal submissions of evidence should be original work and not published elsewhere.
5. Committee staff are happy to give further advice on any aspect of the Committee's work by phone or e-mail.
More detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee is available on-line at:
Press Notice 81/2005-06 2 November 2006