The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has said that the current driving test is not fit for purpose, and has called for changes to be made in order to reduce the number of new drivers that are involved in accidents and that go on to break the law within a few years of passing their test. They have said that parents believe motorway driving should be a compulsory part of the test, while young drivers themselves have said that they are nervous when they start driving after getting their licence.
The call has come following the surprise announcement that the government had put plans to introduce changes for new drivers, and changes to the test itself, on hold because they did not want to alienate young drivers. The IAM has said that changes need to happen sooner rather than later in order to prevent the needless loss of lives that are occurring.
Numerous plans had been put forward to help make driving safer, especially concerning younger drivers. Although young drivers only make up a small portion of those behind the wheel, they are involved in an alarming number of accidents, and there are many that break the driving laws of UK roads within just a few years of passing their test.
Changes had included proposals that drivers would have to have a specific number of hours behind a wheel before they were even allowed to take their test, as well as plans to limit the times and even the number of young passengers that newly qualified drivers would be allowed to drive. The changes were broadly welcomed, with parents and campaigners saying that it would help to ensure that everybody was safer on the road. However, the BBC uncovered the fact that these plans had been put on hold.
The IAM said that they surveyed young drivers and that nearly 40% said they felt nervous when driving at night, while nearly half said that they felt motorway driving should be included in the learning and testing process. 75% of parents agreed that motorway driving should be a compulsory part of the driving test process.