Green paper postponed

There were many discussion last year between insurance companies, ministers, high ranking examiners and a few driving instructors regarding road safety for young and junior drivers. The a was to make the novice driver better, make the roads safer and bring down insurance policy prices. Below is the latest set back


Government’s U-Turn on Young Driver Safety

Government’s U-Turn on Young Driver Safety

19 December 2013                                                                                                          PACTS-logo-ipad




Once again, the safety of young drivers has been kicked into the back seat, with a long-promised consultation paper – due before the end of 2013 – postponed indefinitely.


PACTS Executive Director David Davies said: “Ministers have today (19 December) admitted that they are reneging on their repeated commitments to publish a consultation paper on young driver safety this year.  It looks like a clear case of putting politics before the safety of young people, giving the general election priority over saving lives. PACTS is dismayed that the government is not prepared even to consult on such a vital issue.”


Almost a quarter of the road crashes resulting in death or serious injury in 2012 involved a driver under 24. TRL research, commissioned by the Government, found that a graduated approach to young driver licensing could prevent 230 deaths and save £224 million a year.

  • Young, newly-qualified drivers are disproportionately involved in crashes, particularly catastrophic crashes involving multiple passengers. This has driven up insurance premiums for young drivers.
  • Young drivers themselves know that they engage in risky and even illegal behaviours, with more than average reporting that they drive too fast for the conditions or text while driving – and see this behaviour among their peers.
  • New drivers know that they need to improve their skills, with 95% acknowledging the need for at least some improvement. This is more commonly reported by females.

David Davies continued: “This issue has been left in the ‘too difficult’ pile for too long. The general public, parents of teenagers and most young people themselves believe the current testing and licensing do not prepare young people to drive safely. The system needs courageous leadership and overhaul, as countries such as those already carried out in Australia and Canada.


“Successive governments have not managed to resolve the risks for young drivers and their passengers in the period immediately after passing the test. As well as the disproportionate safety risks, many young people are now excluded from driving because of high insurance premiums which reflect the level of catastrophic crashes.


“Disappointingly, this government appears to have the same weak resolve.


“The Transport Select Committee has called for action to improve young driver safety and PACTS will be inviting the Committee to question the Government over its lack of progress.”


The information was  provided by Transport minister Robert Goodwill in a written answer to Richard Burden MP on 19th December:

PACTS briefing notes:


The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is a registered charity and an associate Parliamentary Group. Its charitable objective is “To protect human life through the promotion of transport safety for the public benefit”.


Further media information:

David Armstrong/Becky Hadley       020 7808 7997

David Davies                                           020 7222 7732


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© PACTS 2013
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Counterpart not needed?

There have been discussions for years now regarding the paper counterpart being replaced by an online virtual one with a chip on your licence containing all the required data, much like the proposed identity cards that the last government wanted.



Most people would struggle to find the official document that is meant to keep with the driving licence. But from the middle of next year this will not be needed.

All the information on it – such as speeding points – will be available online. It is one of 25 public services set to go digital by 2015.

A system due to be launched by the DVLA will allow them to access the information through the website.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said anyone with a driving licence would be able to use the online database while there will be an assisted service for those who find it difficult to use the internet. They will be able to get help from a call centre, library or post office. He suggested that many of the UK’s 40 million drivers would see falls in premiums, “This will enable insurers, for example, to price much more accurately, because they will not have to take anything on trust,” he said.

The paper counterpart to the driving licence photo card is due to be phased out by 2015 while it was announced recently that car tax discs would also be scrapped.

The DVLA said that “although some services cannot be delivered digitally, such as assessing a customer’s fitness to drive, it can improve the processes supporting the delivery of these services through making greater use of digital tools”.

It has not ruled out job cuts at the DVLA headquarters in Swansea.

Initially, the new system will check users’ identities by asking for their postcode and National Insurance number but, in common with other digital government services, it will eventually allow people to use their bank’s system to prove their identity on websites providing government services. 


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