Night rider

September 24, 2010, 12:39 AM GMT+0

Despite recent calls for a graduated driver licensing (GDL) scheme in the UK, the idea has received a lukewarm response from the British public, our recent poll has revealed.

  • Over half (53%) of the British public are in opposition
  • While only 33% think that it is a good idea.

The GDL scheme would impose certain restrictions on newly qualified drivers under the age of 25 for a period of up to two years, preventing them from driving at night, drinking any alcohol at all prior to driving and from carrying passengers of a similar age. Researchers at Cardiff University believe that this scheme would save up to 200 lives a year and prevent 14,000 casualties, thus saving the NHS £890 million.

A common criticism of the GDL is that it is questionable how enforceable it is, while many critics argue that the GDL would unfairly penalise young drivers who need to work at night.

Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA, told the BBC it ‘would give totally the wrong signals to introduce new laws aimed at young people and then not enforce them – many would feel that all motoring laws could be broken’.

Similar GDL schemes already exist in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and parts of the US. It remains to be seen whether the Government, or the public, will be convinced enough to introduce the GDL in Britain.