What Matters? 1

Mimi ON Sep 24, 2010 AT 3:17 am

Should we ban young drivers from night-time driving?

Get young drivers off the road at night

Young drivers who’ve just passed their tests should apparently not drive on the roads at night. That’s the view of researchers who reckon ‘graduated driver licensing’ could save over 200 lives and result in 1,700 fewer serious injuries each year.

Cardiff University found that one in five new drivers crashes within the first six months. They now want the UK to follow the example of other schemes in New Zealand, Australia and parts of the U.S. As with everything this should apply to the minority. The minority of irresponsible, reckless drivers who give the 17-24 age group a diabolical reputation. In fact, young drivers I know are extra vigilant on the road because they’re just so grateful they’ve passed their tests.

Have the researchers not considered that young drivers may not want, but need to drive at night? What about those that work late or live in rural areas? Let’s also consider young parents who need to go out for essentials or unexpected emergencies after dark? Many families, I’m sure also rely on their children to provide lifts.

On a separate note, my 18 year old brother told me that when he passed he actually drove better at night because the roads were less crowded and he felt more relaxed. If young drivers are stopped from driving at night what will happen when they are ‘ready’ to hit the road after dark? Hundreds of drivers on the road that have not been allowed to drive at night for a long period and then suddenly do would surely be very, very dangerous?

On a practical note I’m not convinced how the ‘graduated driver licensing’ would be monitored? Would each car be fitted with a tracking device? If so, I’m sure those costs would be passed onto the new drivers who will have already shelled out for the insurance, car, road tax and petrol. Hardly seems fair does it?

If young drivers are going to be classified as a bigger ‘risk group’ what about the elderly? Naturally, as we get older our senses and responses weaken and slow down. It’s called ageing and there’s not a thing we can do about it! So, an elderly person (in theory) will not have as strong eyesight and response time compared to a driver half their age. Why aren’t they being considered for ‘graduating driving’ or is the spotlight just on the young? This proposal sounds like one rule certainly doesn’t fit all.

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