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Rules to cut accident numbers among young drivers are not the complete answer

Holly West-Robinson profile

Holly West-Robinson

October 11, 2013

News 3 min read

Tighter rules aimed at cutting accident numbers among young drivers are not the complete answer – say young driver insurance provider Marmalade

Transport Research Laboratory suggestions:

  • Curfew for newly qualified drivers – 10pm-5am unless person over 30 in car
  • 12-month probationary period until age of 19 including 100 hrs daytime practice under supervision and 20 hours at night

While Marmalade welcomes any proposals that work towards reducing fatalities on UK roads, it doesn’t agree that restrictions provide the complete answer.

MD Crispin Moger says: “Curfews or driving with an over 30-year-old in the car are impractical and a limit on young people’s freedom. Young drivers need to be mobile to get to work, to study, to visit. This restriction feels a step too far.

“A 12-month probationary period at 18 and the requirement for more practice seems more sensible. We advocate extra practice and that’s why we introduced our own learner insurance so as young people can get extra practice in their family car alongside practice with their driving instructor.

“But people learn differently – some will need 100 hours spread over many months, others might only need 100 hours in three months – we just need to understand how this suggestion could actually work.”

Marmalade maintains that telematics (black box) could be another consideration – it says the black box is virtually like having another person in the car.

“In some countries, telematics is becoming a compulsory component in new cars, and while the UK is not at this stage, we could consider implementing black boxes for all young new drivers,” added Moger.

“The black box measures driving performance and the fact that good performance maintains lower premium rates means there is a real incentive for young motorists to drive safely on the roads. This feels a more realistic suggestion to consider.”

Marmalade was set up to champion young drivers. It has established three products geared solely towards safer driving among young people: Learner Insurance (for extra practice in the family car), New Driver Insurance (telematics to aid safer driving after passing test) and Cars for Young Drivers (car purchase scheme on models up to 6yrs old as Marmalade maintains anything older isn’t as safe).

Crispin Moger added: “Not all young drivers are bad drivers – current Government stats say 1 in 5 have an accident in their first year after passing their test but that means 4 in 5 do not and are more than capable drivers they just need to build up their experience.

“It feels unfair in many ways that the majority of future young drivers are going to be penalised through these restrictions because of the bad driving of a few people in the past.

Full details of the Government’s Transport Research Laboratory suggestions are here:

Holly West-Robinson profile

By 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. I'm definitely one of the adventurous types who's always up for a good old road trip!'  See more posts by Holly

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