The government is considering a change to the law which would ban drivers under the age of 25 from having young passengers in their car.
In a bid to cut the number of road traffic accidents involving young and inexperienced drivers, the move will be discussed by Transport minister Richard Holden and road safety campaigners at a meeting later this month.
According to road safety charity Brake, young drivers are four times more likely to die in accidents if they are accompanied by passengers of their own age or younger. Young drivers may feel ‘goaded’ into driving faster or more irresponsibly than if they were on their own or were driving older passengers.
The new laws would ban passengers under the age of 25 in the first year or six months after the driver had passed their test. The amendment to the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act has been backed by a number of bodies and groups, including Support for Victims of Road Crashes, and Jo Shiner, the National Police Chief’s Council Roads Policing lead.
The Act already bans drivers if they receive six points on their licence in their first two years behind the wheel. Under the new scheme driving licenses would be graduated with more freedoms available as drivers become more experienced.
“Every death or serious injury on our roads is a tragedy and we continue to work tirelessly to improve road safety for all users”, said the Department for Transport (DfT) in a statement. “Our approach to improving safety for new and novice drivers is through new technology and improving education, while reinforcing vital road safety messages through our Think! campaign.”