A night-time curfew for new young drivers is not the answer


Posted by Holly West-Robinson on 12 July 2013

Young driver insurance provider, Marmalade, has called on the Government to review criteria in its forthcoming Green Paper, in light of this week's feedback on telematics from a Gloucestershire coroner.

Coroner David Dooley said he was satisfied 18-year-old driver Oliver Pain's rush to beat the 11pm curfew, a condition of his insurance company's black box policy, was a 'significant factor in his driving'. Oliver and his friend Harry Smith were tragically killed when their car lost control and crashed into two trees near Dursley, Gloucestershire, last November.

Night-time curfews are one of a number of conditions being considered by the Department for Transport as part of its forthcoming Green Paper looking to improve young driver safety and cut the current high cost of premiums for this age group.

But Marmalade, who's own telematics policy has purposely been designed without a night-time driving curfew, says this particular criteria is flawed and impractical to enforce.

"This is an extremely tragic incident and our thoughts are with the families of these two young people," said Marmalade MD Crispin Moger.

"It is also sad that it has taken something as horrific as this to happen to bring this issue to everyone's attention. We have always said that night-time curfews are not right for young drivers.

"Young people are young adults with jobs, social lives and responsibilities which don't fit neatly into a life that stops at 11pm and starts again at 5am. If we expect young drivers to act responsibly on our roads we need to treat them as such and not impose unrealistic restrictions."

Marmalade instead uses other key motoring performance indicators, including acceleration, breaking, cornering and speed, to measure and maintain safe younger driving.

It regularly surveys young drivers to monitor feedback. In December 2012 a survey of 1,200 news drivers aged 17-24 in the UK* found that 60% would not support a restriction on driving between 11pm and 5am if the Government was to introduce it as part of its future proposals.

Annabel Martin, 17, had been driving for four months when Marmalade asked her about the curfew initiative. Annabel has telematics fitted into her car said she wouldn't be in favour, she said it would encourage her to 'speed' to get home in time.

Full footage of her thoughts on the Green Paper, including the curfew restriction (0.44 secs) are included here:

About the Author

Holly West-Robinson
Holly West-Robinson

Hi I'm Holly and I'm a young driver based in Peterborough! I love tattoos, food, drawing and anything art related, enjoy hanging out with friends and family and making a fool of myself XD I'm a huge lover of music and also a part time DJ in the underground drum and bass scene. I passed my driving test first time when I was 17 years old have been loving life and my new found freedom ever since! I'm definitely one of the adventurous types who's always up for a good old road trip!