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AA suggests new drivers shouldn’t give lifts to friends for six months





New drivers should be banned from giving their friends a lift, the AA has suggested.

Each year nearly 5,000 people are killed or seriously injured in crashes involving at least one young driver, says the breakdown organisation, which is pressing for more action to improve road safety.

Around 5,000 people are killed or seriously injured in crashes involving young drivers each year. Image: Stock photo.
Around 5,000 people are killed or seriously injured in crashes involving young drivers each year. Image: Stock photo.

A Graduated Driver Licence – it proposes – could limit the actions of new motorists until they had gained sufficient driving experience with a ban on giving lifts to friends for the first six months after passing their test, among the suggestions.

The proposal is listed in the AA’s Motoring Manifesto – launched on Monday ahead of this year’s elections – which puts to politicians the issues it says road users are most concerned about.

Restrictions for newly qualified drivers – which could also include recording that they’ve driven on every type of road after losing their L-plates - are backed by its own AA Driving School which teaches thousands of new motorists to drive each year.

Giving learner drivers limits after passing could improve safety says the AA. Image: iStock.
Giving learner drivers limits after passing could improve safety says the AA. Image: iStock.

Similar schemes are already in place in countries including the US, Canada, Sweden and Australia and were initially explored by the Department for Transport around six years ago.

In February 2018, then Prime Minister Theresa May asked the DfT to investigate the possibility of a graduated licencing scheme, in a response to questions about efforts to curb the number of accidents, but in October 2020 it was announced the idea was being dropped in favour of restructuring driving lessons to enable ‘stronger tuition’.

Among the other issues highlighted in the AA’s manifesto are more support for drivers to keep motoring costs low, providing the right incentives to support the switch to zero emission vehicles, addressing the pothole crisis, and scrapping what it calls the ‘failed experiment’ of smart motorways.

Addressing the pothole ‘crisis’ is also among the issues in the manifesto. Image: iStock.
Addressing the pothole ‘crisis’ is also among the issues in the manifesto. Image: iStock.

Edmund King, AA president, added: “The AA’s manifesto is backed by polling of our members. We know that permanently fixing potholes is the number one issue, but we also know that drivers want action on scrapping ‘smart’ motorways, improving the safety of new drivers and being given more incentives and reassurance before switching to zero emission vehicles.

“Our message to all parties is ‘motoring matters’.”



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