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New driving laws for the UK in 2014 could save lives

As road safety figures show that 20% of new drivers aged between 17 and 19 are involved in accidents within their first 12 months on the road, the rumours of new driving laws for the UK from 2014 should be welcome news to the millions of motorists they share the roads with.

Current driving laws in the UK

At the moment, you can’t drive until you have a provisional licence. Most drivers have to wait until they’re 17 before they can apply for their provisional, but those who receive the higher rate of disability can apply on their 16th birthday. A provisional licence allows drivers to practice their skills on the road as long as they have an accompanying by a fully qualified driver who’s over 21. You can’t drive on motorways with a provisional licence but you can take your test as soon as you want.

How things could change

If ministers have their way, new laws will be introduced later in the year that will make the driving test tougher and effectively raise the minimum age to 18. If they’re ratified, the new driving laws for the UK in 2014 will better prepare young people for the road.

Insurers

The move to make the test tougher was initiated when insurance firms, motor groups and safety campaigners lobbied the government to increase the driving age to 18. Statistics show that while 20% of drivers in their first year are involved in an accident, that figure nearly halves for drivers in their second ear.

Consultation document

The consultation document being drawn up by ministers will put greater emphasis on avoiding recklessness and spotting potential dangers. It will show that over confidence is a major factor and it will call for provisional licence holders to master skills like reversing around a corner, parallel parking and three-point turns before being allowed to take the practical.

500 hours

The new legislation will make drivers spend 500 hours learning the rules of the road. At the moment, most drivers spent 100 hours at the wheel before taking their test. This is the biggest change being considered because it will effectively raise the minimum driving age to 18 without any changes in legislation.

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